Monday, March 9, 2009

Seedy Saturday 2009 - good luck finding parking

Have you noticed the increasing interest in vegetable gardening? Perhaps you thought it was all in your mind - a product of your own obsession. Maybe you figured your garden groaning full of plants or your shirt that says 'let's talk dirt' just made people gravitate toward the subject of plants.

Let me give you some evidence that you are not crazy and that people have become more interested in vegetable gardening:

Light flooded stands filled with people. You had to elbow your way to the seed displays or at least politely squirm your way through. That blank space near the front of the picture was a fluke as it quickly disappeared. The two people 'answering questions' - bearded guy, and the lady with grey hair on the far right - are from Greta's Organic Garden. You guessed it, the lady is Greta.

What is Seedy Saturday 2009?

This is a seed fair organized by Seeds of Diversity Canada to bring together local organic, open pollinated, heritage seed vendors, other eco-vendors, and interested organizations. It is held in many locations across Canada and is a great way of getting seeds from many different companies while avoiding the mailing costs.

Sorry for profiling you mystery picture people. It was a fun day, wasn't it? (If that's you, let me know. I'm always curious who I accidentally photograph.)

Of course, you can always bring your own seed for trading at the Swap Table. While chatting with the man supervising the mayhem of seed exchanges, he mentioned that he was going to bring a lot more seed next year. Same here, I told him and I do not mean that as an idle threat. As I am about waist deep in seeds, I only picked up two packages of seeds from the Swap Table: Tiger's Eye brown mutation beans, and Leaf Celery.

The Girls on How to Pick the Right Seeds

When it comes to exchanging money for seed, I promised my girls one seed package each. Their choices will give you insight into how kids see the mysterious promise of a seed.

Eldest: "I want something about dragons."
Me: "Like those snapdragon seeds you saw, you mean?"
Eldest: "Yeah, I want dragon seeds, but no dragon vegetables. I like flowers better."

We saunter over to La Vie En Rose Gardens that specialize in flower seeds and bearded iris rhizomes.

My little ones getting ready for the puppet show - they liked the organic chocolate.

Me: "Do you have any snapdragon?"
Lady: "Sorry, we only have one kind, frosted flames, I think."
Eldest: "Yeah, flaming dragon seed. That's what I want to grow."
Me: "Perfect. And what would you like," I ask my youngest.
Youngest: "Sunflowers!"
Me: "Do you have sunflowers?"
Lady: "Yes, we do. A whole page in fact. You might like..." names ensue.
Youngest: "Teddy Bear!"
Me: "They are Teddy Bear sunflowers, okay?"
Youngest: "Yup, Teddy Bears."
Oldest: "And dragons!"

So there you go, in our garden, we are sowing magic seeds and out of these will appear flowers but they are really dragons and teddy bears.

Bring Your Kids and Leave 'em with the NGP (non gardening partner) in the Craft Room


The kids also got to exercise that imagination again at the puppet show. In previous years, there has always been a supervised craft room where they glue seeds to a piece of paper. This year, they went all out and had the Paddling Puppeteer do an eco/history show on the river. It was fun.

Funny I Should See You Here...


Like usual I met many friends there including two plancycle members. Carmel from Cosmoz Design was selling her mytholical sculptures which included dragons but I managed to convince the kids that what our garden really needed was a green gargole.

Yuko selling seeds, supplies and seedlings. She had some wolf berry there which I was tempted by.

I also saw fellow garden blogger from I Wet My Plants. (I got what I thought was a great picture of her and her nephew but it was out of focus so I'll have to wait and take a better one to do her justice another time.) She was listing all the vendors so hopefully she'll post us on her Seedy Saturday experience soon. It would be useful to know exactly who was there. I did see many of the regulars including The Cottage Gardener, and Yuko's Open Pollinated Seeds.

So What Did You Find?


But my mission was to find a new seed vendor. Selling useful herbs was Amelie and Karine from Hortilege. She also had herbal preparations for those that wanted to skip the growing phase or who shy away from growing nettle in their garden (my hand is up).

And there were organizations such as The Canadian Organic Growers, The Green Party, talks, food, fun and more.

Did I also mention that it was busy? By busy I mean hold your breath, tuck in your arms and shimmy to the next stand, wait in line like you needed a loan to talk with the seed seller, and burst out of the crowd to get some fresh air kind of busy.

Busy. I am imagining all those new or newly expanded gardens popping up like dandelions and I love it!

Of course with all that hard work staring at the fine print on seed packs, you'll need refreshments and there was no shortage of that as well.


JGH said...

What a fun event! Finding seeds with fun names seems like a great way to get kids interested in gardening. I'm curious myself what a teddy bear sunflower looks like.

Dan said...

Wow, busy event.

hw said...

I got some yummy honey covered peanuts and some more seeds for tomato plants. Not that I need to grow another variety (we'll see when I get them started this weekend, but I think I'm up to about 15+ this year!), but I still left with 5 new types to experiment with. Oh, and the seed exchange table I got some peppers, snow peas and yellow beans. Nothing too fancy. But I did leave some seeds and before I even put them on the table, people had taken them out of my hands!!!

O.I.M said...

much like your seedy saturday, toronto's was packed. barely enough room to breathe let alone get close to the seeds. I managed to walk away with five packs of wildflower seeds though...where there is a will, there is a way.

thanks by the way. my first seedy saturday was last year after i read one of your posts. I went back for year two and imagine that it will become an annual pilgrimage for me.


Deb said...

Wonderful! I found a packet of purple-podded Capunijner peas in my mailbox this morning! Thank you so much! It's bleeding cold here still, but I am looking forward to seeing these beauties grow in my garden!

All the best,
Deb in BC