Yesterday we went to Guelph’s Seedy Saturday at Norfolk United Church. I brought home a few more ideas along with packages of heirloom vegetable and wildflowers seeds.
Seedy Saturdays began in Canada in 1990, encouraging communities to share locally-adapted, non-hybrid plant varieties. I first attended one in Toronto in 1997 as a vendor of handmade papers, many incorporating wildflower seeds. Numerous Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays are organized under the auspices of Seeds of Diversity, a volunteer organization concerned with conserving biodiversity and traditional horticultural knowledge. Its website lists a few more of these events occurring in small cities across Canada this month. Other similar events like the one in Guelph seem to have sprung up independently.
Best find of the day was a seed potato collection including three varieties: Bintje, Norland and Warba. I purchased a few more packets of commercial heirloom varieties, but also a few from plants that have grown in Guelph for several generations; arugula, calendula, lettuce, tithonia (Mexican sunflower) and zinnia. The latter two are supposed to be good for attracting pollinators.
The most interesting new local enterprise is the Guelph Community Orchard Project, which aims to build community, improve local environment, foster awareness of fruit and nut trees, and increase food security. It received its first grant from Tree Canada a few days ago and has launched a new blog.