Shop and swap local seeds

Seedy Saturday is set for March 18 in Vernon

  • Mar. 15, 2017 7:00 a.m.

Jocelyne Sewell/Morning Star Gardening Columnist

The 23rd Annual Seed Swap and Natural Living Fair in Enderby had another successful year with more than 2,000 customers and 120 tables of seeds, plants, food and crafts. The weather was not as good as last year but didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the day.

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t make it to Enderby as Vernon is having its own Seedy Saturday on March 18, when SENS (Sustainable Environment Network Society) hosts their third annual Vernon Seedy Saturday at the Vernon Recreation Centre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is by donation ($2 suggested), children are free.

Seedy Saturday also includes a free community seed swap table where people bring their extra seeds or plants to share with others and can take seeds and plants that they want — it is a fun and busy part of these events. Please be sure your free seeds are clearly labelled so others know what they are, and don’t forget to bring envelopes to take home free seeds. This year there will also be a free garden magazine swap table so feel free to bring some garden-related magazines to share.

This is the place to buy local seeds which are grown and harvested in the Okanagan and best suited to grow in our gardens as the plants are getting used to our local climate. A lot of seeds offered on the market are raised in conditions that differ from our hot and dry Okanagan summers. By saving seeds grown in your gardens from your best plants, you develop some varieties that will grow much better under our local climate.

When you save your own seeds or buy local seeds, you contribute to seed security. Many heritage seeds are not available now because they have been discontinued by seed companies that are finding there is a more profitable market in selling hybrid seeds that the grower cannot save and has to order again the following year, than selling open-pollinated seeds that will come true year after year in your gardens. However, some small companies are offering more organic and heirloom seeds today.

Be sure to make time to hear inspiring local garden speakers and ask your gardening questions. Learn about growing your own “medicine” in the garden, growing a permaculture food forest and seed-starting.

11 a.m. — Medicine from the Garden and Food Forest with Dr. Karin Kilpatrick, MD

Noon — Food Forests: Gardening for 1000 years with Richard Walker, food forester and author of Food Forestry North of the 49th

1 p.m. — Introduction to Seed Starting and Seedling Care with Tessa Wetherill, market gardener

This could be a very interesting day and will fill you with eagerness to work in your gardens. Robins are telling me on my morning walk that snow will be gone very soon. See you there.

For more information: call 250-558-4556 or email

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast in the North Okanagan and member of Okanagan Gardens & Roses Club. Her column appears every other Wednesday.

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