Selecting and getting those seeds started.

From presentation by Arzeena Hamir.

Seed Catalogs – what to look for

The seed catalog companies do not grow their own seeds. They have their growers in many different places. This means that if you buy from a local company this does not mean that your seeds will be local. For this you need to buy from your local small farmers – Seedy Saturday is an excellent showcase for them and opportunity for all of us to get locally grown organic seeds.

Look for the “Non GOM pledge in the catalogs.

OP (open pollinated = can save the seeds)  F1 (Hybrid = cannot save the seeds; will not breed true)

Corn is nearly all hybrid and often genetically modified. Look for certified organic, from PEI or Europe.

What the labels don’t say  (read between the lines) eg Early tomato. produces before its hot, not so likely to get late blight but no mention of flavour. Tomatoes need the sun to bring out their full flavour.

eg Sweet pea, container variety, short plants, no tendrils, compact. What about smell? No mention No scent.

When they say self-sowing you could think “weed”. Those little blue forget-me-nots are self sowing.

Days to maturity. This could be when the seed is planted or when the seedling is put out into the garden.

A tomato that is 100 days is from when it is put out. Our season is too short.

Watch out for companies that treat the seeds with with neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides that affect the central nervous system of insects  resulting in paralysis and death, killing our bees and other insects.

Starting seeds – 2 very distinct phases with completely opposite requirements.

Stage 1. Seed needs a growing medium, heat and water.

This medium could be 1. damp paper towel, kept moist under plastic. OR

2. a sterile potting mix made from 50% peat, 25% perlite, 25% compost/worm castings.

3. A ready made sterile potting mix eg Promix (miracle grow is not organic)

The heat should be bottom heat. This could be 1. a growing mat with thermostat,

2. a heating blanket with a space between mat and seed tray,

3. an special electric coil in the soil

Different seeds need different temperatures. Have to research the ones you are growing.

Keep them damp. Cover in plastic so that they don’t dry out.

Stage 2. As soon as the shoots appear they need 1. cooler temperature. Turn down to around 50 degrees F.

2.  light – lots of light.

You want to produce short stocky seedlings. Legginess + not enough light.Florescent light tubes labelled “Natural light” give a good spectrum. Or one tube cool and ane warm wavelengths.

The light bulbs should be less than 4 inches above the seedlings.

14 hours of light is minimum eg 6am to 8 pm.

3. Less water. The surface of the soil can feel dry. Water from the bottom. The weight of the tray can indicate when it needs water. When the top oif the soil is wet it is the ideal condition for fungus – the damping off fungus. This fungus lives on the surface of the soil. All the seedlings suddenly fall over. Throw them all out because of the fungus. Prevent – sprinkle with cinnamon, a natural fungicide. Can also use cool camomile tea or a 1/2inch layer of perlite on the soil, leaving no air for the fungus. Also very important – when you plant your seeds press the soil down around them to get rid of the air and they will be incontact with the soil and nutrients.

Young seedlings do not need a lot of water. Their root system is still very immature.

2017 Vendor bios.

Get to know our vendors and visit them at Seedy Saturday.

1. Coastal Invasive Species

Rachelle McElroy

http://www.coastalisc.com/
rachelle@coastalisc.com
Be PlantWise! Coastal ISC will be featuring alternatives to common invasive plants for your garden and how to be PlantWise!
Commit to not buying invasive species and be a PlantWise ambassador. Learn about full subsidies* available for controlling Knotweed spp. and Giant Hogweed on your property in the Comox Valley.
Bring your burning invasive species questions for one of our staffto answer.

2. Full Circle Seeds.

http://www.fullcircleseeds.com/
Certified organic Vegetable, herb, flower and grain seeds grown on Vancouver Island and certified organic seed potatoes from Across the Creek

3. Ravensong Seeds / Fireweed Farm

jessy delleman
orders@ravensongseeds.com
http://www.ravensongseeds.com/
“Ravensong Seeds is a small seed business located on the Saanich Peninsula near Victoria BC Canada. We grow all of our seeds organically without the use of pesticides, chemicals, or GMOs. We specialize in medicinal herbs, with a selection of culinary herbs, veggies, garlic native plants, flowers, and enthnobotanicals. All of our varieties are also open-pollinated, which means they are true species from which you can save your own seeds in your home gardens.
Ravensong seeds are grown in our home farm location at Fireweed Farm & School (fireweedschool.com) in the village of Brentwood Bay. At Fireweed Farm you will find our main seed-saving and demonstration garden with a collection of over 200 different herb varieties, a small farm shop, and seasonal workshops on herbal medicine. We also produce a line of high quality herbal products with the herbs we grow under the name Miss Mullein’s Herbals.

4. Perennial Ridge Farms

Rose Rogan
perennialridgefarms@gmail.com
I started up a wholesale farm and nursery over 20 years ago, in the Cowichan Valley.
I employ local high school students in the spring and summer.
It is usually their first job, and they love working here. Once they graduate, they move onto new things in their life, and about 98% keep in touch.
The farm has goats, chickens for eggs and meat, turkeys, ducks and geese. And 3 dogs and 4 cats!
For Seedy Saturday I will have nursery stock grown on Vancouver Island.
Perennials, Rhododendrons, Berry bushes ( blueberry, raspberry, currents, boysenberry, logan berry, tayberrry ), ornamental trees, and hardy succulents.
Lily bulbs will be available, as well as occupied Mason Bee blocks.

5. Bugs with Benefits

Debbie Foster

http://www.bugswithbenefits.ca/

bugswithbenefits@gmail.com
Bugs with Benefits is a beneficial predatory insect provider located in Coombs. I grow and distribute insects to be used in greenhouses as well as outdoor garden applications. Common bugs I offer are: Ladybugs for aphids, Podisus for caterpillars, hypoaspis for fungus gnat, cucumeris for thrips, californicus for spider mites and nematodes for beetle and weevil larva. I will have products available at SeedySaturday that focus primarily on indoor growing, and will be taking orders for outdoor products for later in the spring.

bugs

6. Innesfree Farm and Botanic Garden

Dr Thierry Vrain and Chanchal Cabrera,

Cancelled.

7. J & R Farm

Rose and Jim Mcculley
mccus@shaw.ca
Mason Bee kits, cocoons, tubes, houses, jams, jellies and mustard pickles

8. World  Community Development Education Society.

www.worldcommunity.

World Community is a leading promoter of Fair/Direct Trade in the Comox Valley, selling organic fair trade products such as coffee, chocolate, tea, and olive oil since 1996. Fair trade sales provide fair wages for farmers and support important health and community projects.  Our film festival and film series have featured many films about food security, seeds, and growing organically. FMI:

9. Brother Nature Organic Seeds.

Gordon and Coral Brinck

http://www.brothernature.ca

brothernature@shaw.ca

Brother Nature Organic Seeds has been growing and selling Certified Organic, Openly Pollinated Vegetable, Herb, Annual & Perennial seed for 14 years now.

Our Certified Organic seed is grown is West Saanich, on Vancouver Island where we are blessed with abundant summer sunshine, pure clean water and excellent growing conditions.

Our mission is simple. To provide you the buyer, with seeds for a complete bio diverse garden, grown from an inexpensive, reliable eco-friendly seed source. Feedback has been excellent over the years and we will continue to strive to meet the ever growing public desire, to grow healthy chemical free plants.

We also germination test all our seed. We adjust our quantities in proportion to germination ratios, so that provided proper conditions, you should realize as many plants as the seed quantities states on the package or more.

Our selection is heavy on plants that provide food, beauty, interest, diversity and color.

10. Good Earth Farms

Heather Mills and Simon Toole

http://www.goodearthfarms.ca/
We are Simon Toole and Heather Mills and we have a passion for saving seed and growing delicious food. All of our seeds are grown by us, open pollinated, untreated and many are heirlooms. We started our business in 2002 and got our own farm in 2004. We grow all naturally and are deeply committed to sustainable local growing. We are thankful to have the opportunity to grow in such a beautiful valley and for the undying support of our customers.

11. Salt Spring Seeds.

Dan Jason.

https://www.saltspringseeds.com

Since 1988 we’ve been supplying seeds to farmers and gardeners, promoting organic growing, and encouraging people to save their own seed. We carry lots of very special grains, beans, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

All our seeds are untreated, open-pollinated and non-GMO. We grow all our own seeds and sell only our most recent harvest.

dan-jasonDan Jason.

12. Backyard Botanicals.

Cathy Moulton

seaem@live.ca

I started a small nursery in Merville a few years ago with the goal of providing locally grown herbs, vegetables and flowers. I began sales at local farmers’ markets last year and I am very proud of our farming community and the people who support it by shopping local.

My goal is to grow plants that will encourage people to grow their own food, herbs and flowers.

13. DDC Dahlias

 

Karen Bull

ksbull@shaw.ca

https://www.facebook.com/ddc.dahlias

14. TreeEater Farm and Nursery

Peter Janes

http://www.treeeaternursery.com/

treeeaterfarmandnursery@gmail.com

15. Mason Bees Metchosin.

Gary Fletcher.

http://www.gfletcher.ca/?cat=2

garryf@gmail.com

I raise Mason bees on our farm and sell cleaned and packaged in a two dozen cocoon package selling for $16.00. I also sell dried natural Phragmites reed grass stem tubes which I harvest from our wetland are used to culture them. I find that these tubes are the most efficient for attracting mason bees and reducing parasite infection. Also inexpensive re-purposed material houses are available.

16. Anderton therapeutic Gardens Society

Joan Gage

http://gardensonanderton.org/

phoenixlanding@shaw.ca

We are a non-profit society and will be displaying information about the Gardens on Anderton.

17. Sweet Rock Farm

Sal Dominelli

saldominelli@gmail.com

Seeds.

18. Y Grip Garden Tool Ltd.

Paul Carr

http://www.ygrip.ca/garden_tool_trowel.html

info@ygrip.ca

Y grip 1Paul is a Registered Massage Therapist with a previous background as a mechanic. These two disciplines, the understanding of anatomy and ergonomics and the understanding of hand tools, came together in the moment the y grip was invented. What started as a solution to digging in hard soil for his own purposes is now a patented tool that he can share with other gardeners.

 19. Speedbin Composters

Joyce McMenamon

http://speedibin.com/

compost@speedibin.com

This Comox Valley business started 25 years ago and is now being rekindled by Joyce McMenamon, daughter of the original inventor. Several design changes in 2015 make it stronger, easier to assemble and good-looking in a dark green colour.

Speedibin is all about backyard composting.  The metal Speedibin composter is designed to keep out pests and be easy to use.  Because it is made of metal, with a metal bottom screen and a locking lid, rats and pests can’t get in. The lid and front door slide off for easy access. At 405 litres, it is big enough to make hot compost and small enough to fit discreetly in the yard.  

They are fabricated in BC. 

Check our website, Speedibin.com, and then visit our Seedy Saturday display, chat about composting issues and play the composting skills game.

 

Joyce and the Speedbin

Joyce and the Speedbin

20. Omega Blue Farms.

Wayne Osborne

OmegaBlueFarms@gmail.com

http://www.omegabluefarms.ca/\

Seeds, plants starts, possibility of plants

21. Seeds of Diversity.

Judy Newman
Administrator, Seeds of Diversity

http://www.seeds.ca
Seeds of Diversity is a Canadian charitable organization whose members and volunteers work to preserve the
biodiversity in our food. We believe that when people save seeds, they are helping build a self-reliant food system,
and creating a new relationship with the plants, pollinators and seeds that keep people fed.

Our work includes maintaining an extensive seed library, supporting “Seedy Saturday” events across the country, running a Canada-wide seed savers exchange network, and more.
We say: Join us! Become part of a growing movement of seed savers, gardeners, eaters and anyone interested in building a strong and vibrant seed system.

22. Figs For Life/ Emerald Voices

Devmurti Khalsa

devmurti@telus.net

figsforlife-frog

23. Salt Spring Sprouts and Mushrooms.

Jacob Cooper

http://www.sssproutsandmushrooms.com/

sprouts@gmail.com

We sell a range of certified organic sprouted seeds and mushrooms substrate for home cultivation. We also sell fresh organic mushrooms and organic sprout rolls. Our booth is both a vending and educational space with information conveyed about live food and the many wonders of the fungal queendom.

We exhibit fruiting substrate of both shiitake and oyster mushrooms to facilitate education and excitement in growing your own.

salt-spring-sprouts-smalljpg

24. Garden Lore

Joan Wynden

gardenlore@gmail.com

Joan Wynden, a Master Gardener and Permaculture Designer, can’t seem to stop producing new plants, and now calls herself a plant midwife.  Featuring deer resistant and drought tolerant perennials, her home-based nursery, Garden Lore,  celebrates the wonders of nature with a selection of the unique and unusual, the beautiful and the bizarre.

Additionally she offers organically grown early veggie starts and herbs.

25. Gardeners Green.

Summer and Jim.

gardenersgreenfolk@gmail.com

Gardeners Green is home to Summer and Jim. They moved to this rural property in Merville from England in 2010 bringing with them some of their rare and unusual plant collection. They are both creative people with thousands of artistic ideas for plants, materials and structures. Jim is a metalworker by trade, and they both work in wood.

They are continuously in the process of creating an English cottage style garden with west coast overtones and lots Green ManThe Green Man represents the verdant energy of fertility and the element of nature that sparks and energises things to grow. “Our concrete Green Man wall hangers come in small and large sizes, and are guaranteed to bless your garden with abundant fertility!”

26. Comox Valley Bee Club.

Jenn Differ – President

http://www.comoxvalleybeeclub.com/

jenn.dilfer@hotmail.com

bee-club

27. West Coast Seeds.

28. Larry Church.

Mason Bee houses.

29. Growing island Growers.

David Wicklund

david@growingislandgrowers.com

http://www.growingislandgrowers.com/

David Wicklund established Growing Island Growers to address the need for small scale garden tillage equipment in the Comox Valley. We can prepare gardens from a hundred square feet to several acres. Building raised beds in various widths and lengths is easy with this equipment. We also offer rental packages of the BCS walk behind tractor and specialized tillage implements. David is the field manager at Pattison Farms where  this equipment is utilized in an intensive vegetable production system. Come see the equipment and book your spring tillage or equipment rental needs.

david-wicklund

30. Island Greenhouses

Gerry Giesbrecht

kgislandgreenhouses@gmail.com

http://www.madeyalook.ca/

We have just started Island Greenhouses after considerable planning.
We think the more people that grow their own healthy food the better.
We have been In small business here on the Island since 2001.
The whole time we were looking for a green product to focus on.
While shopping for a quality cedar greenhouse I realized there was no locally made and distributed options.
Our desire is to provide locally made quality hobby greenhouses and encourage more people to enjoy growing their own healthy food.
The greenhouses are post and beam west coast designs made with cedar timbers with glass windows and have a balance of open form and function.

31. Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.

http://csnn.ca/nanaimo

Dedicated to promoting health and wellness through natural nutrition, we

offer a comprehensive diploma program that integrates a deep knowledge of
the healing and preventive properties of food, science, the body-mind-spirit
connection, and the environment. Our approach is holistic, blending
practical knowledge with hands-on experience in a supportive,
student-centered learning environment.

32.The Blueberry Man

Daxton Bennet.

daxtonobennett@hotmail.com

http://www.theblueberryman.ca/

3 year old blueberry plants bluecrop, duke and Elliot
Thornless blackberry plants
Strawberry plants “honoeye”
Raspberry “chemainus”

 

 

Blueberry plants

Blueberry plants

33. GE Free Comox Valley.

Linda Cheu.

GE Free Comox Valley is a local non-profit group dedicated to inform and update consumers of   developments in

 biotechnology affecting our food system. We  start petitions,lobby local governments and participate in national actions
to voice consumers’ concerns over the safety of our food. In this age of  profit first ideology, we intend to stay true to keeping our food
healthy above all things.

34. Vancouver Island Mushroom Adventures.

Michael Vossen

mikel_vossen@hotmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/VancouverIslandMushroomAdventures/?ref=bookmarks

Shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

Gourmet mushrooms and mushroom farming supplies.

Michael and Polypore

Michael and Giant Redbelt Polypore

35. Connie Kuramoto

36. Master Gardeners.

Mark Flemming.

http://www.mgabc.org/

Do you have a Planting or Gardening Question? Vancouver Island Master Gardeners – your community gardening resource – are eager to help you get your seeds and plants off to a successful start and a satisfied harvest. The Master Gardeners are pleased to offer information and answers to home gardeners of all ages and experience regarding plants, veggies, berries, shrubs, trees, planting, soils, composting, plant ID, pruning, propagation, weeds, pest/disease and their controls while emphasizing environmentally responsible gardening practices. Ask us about the Master Gardener’s Program offered this fall at Vancouver Island University or visitwww.mgabc.org

 

37. Bloomfield Flats Custom Cedar Furniture

Brian and Judy Bloomfield
http://www.bloomfieldflatscustomcedarfurniture.com
bloomfieldflats@gmail.com

We are a home-based business in Courtenay serving folks for over 30 years. We produce high quality, value-added ergonomic chairs in 2 styles and sizes to fit any body. Western Red Cedar is locally sourced and hand selected. Loveseats, tables, barstools, benches, garden trugs, footstools, boxes and more can all be made to suit your needs and desires. Our products offer handcrafted functional elegance for your home, garden, deck, patio or cottage. Create your oasis and love your space!

38. Organized Kindling

Barbara Toombs

barbt@shaw.ca

Vendor, garden products made of local wood, recycled, re-purposed or rescued from the burn pile. Made by gardeners for gardeners.

Fir Obelisks, wooden product boxes, dibblers, some wooden jewelry such as bracelets, rings, napkin rings, Trugs, pussy willow and Forsythia flowering branches

CV Seed Bank.

40 Lake Trail Neighbourhood Connections  LTNC

Elaine Codling

http://laketrailconnect.ca/

 

Past event – Volunteer appreciation BBQ 2016

VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION BBQ

The BBQ was held on Sunday August 7th from 4pm till dark  at  Innisfree Farm and Botanical Garden,

3636 Trent Rd in Royston

The BBQ was open to all indiviuals who volunteered in any way with the activities of the Comox Valley Growers and Seed Savers (the invitation includes their spouse/partner and children).

The menu will included  Burgers –  either Salmon or Black Bean and volunteers were asked to state their preference in advance.

Linda Smith provided some great salads and individual fruit cup deserts.

 

The event was offered by CVGSS to show their appreciation for the hard work done by so many volunteers.

Seedy Saturday 2017

” GROW ORGANIC “

4th March from10.00 till 3.00 at the Florence Filberg Centre Curtenay

Entry is $5.00 for adults. Children, members and volunteers get in free.

Once again we will be hosting our seed exchange with many varieties of locally grown seeds. Only $1.00 per packet.

We will aslo have many Vancouver Island seed companies with their seeds and maybe even seeds from further afield, all organic and non GMO.

The Seedy Cafe will be open from early till 10.00 am with complimentary drinks and baked goodies for vendors and volunteers. At 11.30 the chefs will be serving a delicious vegetarian lunch available to all for a fee and to volunteers in exchange for a meal ticket.

Our keynote speakers will be Connie Kuramoto and Donna Balzer.

Donna Balzer  Speaker and garden writer.  10.30 – 11.30

http://www.donnabalzer.com/

At Seedy Saturday she will talk about ” Have Fun in Your Garden – new ideas for 2017 “

Why should kids have all the fun?  Taking the lead from best selling, richly illustrated No Guff Vegetable Gardening, Donna will speak about new ideas in the garden plus old garden ideas worth recycling! This talk will include soils,  fertilizers, trends and new technologies that will boost your garden success meter.  In really big news, it’s all 100% organic. Don’t delay, dig in today.

 

donna b 3 (2) Donna’s winter garden.donna with kale

 Connie Kuramoto   1.00 – 2.00

Seed Saving; The Heart of the garden.

Join Connie Kuramoto as she talks about the importance of saving seeds for our environment, as well as our enjoyment.  Learn how to culture a diverse gene pool within your garden that is both tasty and resilient!  It’s easier than you think!”

Connie Kuramoto has been an active part of the Vancouver Island Horticulture scene since the mid seventies. She has over forty years of experience that ranges from selling flowers on the street corner, to managing greenhouses and market gardens, with a lot of home food growing in between. Connie taught Horticulture for Vancouver Island University for over twenty years, and since she retired has taught for North Island College in their Horticulture Apprenticeship Program, and for Gaia College’s Organic Land Care Diploma. She is currently running a Gaia College Growing Organic Food Course and series of home food gardening and traditional skills classes at the Parksville Museum’s Urban Farm School. Connie is available for specialized workshops and training, as well as consulting and garden services through her company, Gardens on the Go.

Connie Kuramoto

Connie Kuramoto

Connie Kuramoto

Connie Kuramoto

November meeting

Date – 3rd November

Time 7.00 pm

Place – Creekside Commons

Topic of speaker panel – HOW TO START A GARDEN.

October 2016 monthly meeting

Mushrooms in your home and in your garden

On Thursday October 6th 2016 at 7pm the Comox Valley Growers and Seed Savers are hosting Vivian Vaillant, a home mushroom grower, who will discuss the benefits of growing mushrooms in your home garden as well as how to fruit gourmet mushroom as a winter crop.

Starting with mycelium development all the way to fungi production she does it all to produce a large harvest of shiitake, oyster and shimengi mushrooms right in her own backyard.

The meeting is held at Creekside Commons, 2202 Lambert Street. Admission is by donation for nonmembers. Direct questions to Sylvain Alie at 250-336-8632.

September meeting 2016 – Preserving the Harvest

On Thursday September 8th 2016 at 7pm the CVGSS are hosting Lynda Smith of “Lawn to Food”

Lynda will present “Preserving the Harvest” which will showcase different methods to can, dry, freeze and other preservation ideas for the bounty of your garden.

Checkout our web site WWW.CVGSS.ORG for more information about us.

The meeting is held at Creekside Commons, 2202 Lambert Street. Admission is by donation for non-members.

KimChi Kale Coleslaw.

Kikimchi

Saving lettuce seeds

Ralph Watts has the following method for saving lettuce seeds.

“For some this may be an easier way to save lettuce seed.” he says.

 

View photo in message

 

  1. Get two plates – same type with smooth rims, or a bucket with a lid.
  2. Place plates under lettuce. Work lettuce above the plates with your fingers as the seed and husks fall onto the plates.  (Note you will get some latex like material on your fingers)
  3. Move the plates around and spread the plant to get the inner seeds.
  4.  When done, carefully pour all the seeds on to one plate and use the other to cover so you can bring the seeds indoors.  Does not take much of a breeze to spread all over the place.
  5. Repeat daily until you have enough seed.
  6. To concentrate the seed.  Put the seed in a bowl and jiggle the bowl.  The chaff will rise to the surface.  Skim off and put in another bowl as there is still quite a bit of seed in it. Rub the chaff between your fingers and repeat.  You may want to blow the last of the chaff away with a fan.  Not perfect but pretty good.

 

 

Bean chili

A great dish for potlucks. I good served over brown rice.

Ingredients.

1 1/2 tablespoons Cumin seeds

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 white onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, finely diced, for less heat remove the seeds.

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 cups finely diced mushrooms

1 zucchini, diced

1/2 cup diced potato

6 cups cooked beans – can use several varieties or all the same – experiment with whatever you grew and saved.

2 cups chopped tomatoes – San Marzano or any paste tomatoes are good.

2 cups water

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

1 cup kale, chopped.

Directions.

  1. Toast cumin seeds on dry pan on medium heat for 2 minutes till you smell the robust aroma.
  2. Add oil, onion, garlic and jalapeno. Stir till onion is golden
  3. Add chili powder, mushrooms, zucchini and potato. Saute and stir for 3 to 4 minutes
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except the kale. Stir well and cover. Reduce heat and cook gently till potatoes are tender.
  5. Remove form heat and stir in the kale.