Sow What Now? Seedy Saturday Can Help
Comox Valley February 20. On March 3rd, hundreds of people will gather to find everything they need to get their gardens growing. Seeds, education, expert advice, enthusiastic tips and support from groups, neighbours and strangers will be available to those itching to get soil under their nails – for the first time or the thousandth.
The generous support of local sponsors allowed the organizers to drop the admission price back to $5 and they believe you’ll receive so much inspiration from the day’s events; you’ll be planting by March 4th. A wonderful array of panelists and speakers are scheduled and, along with the dozens of knowledgeable vendors, associations and educators, the Seed Exchange and the social activities guarantee a day well spent.
Robin Tunnicliffe of Feisty Field Organic Farm and co-founder of Saanich Organics is the keynote speaker for 2012. Tunnicliffe has been farming certified organic vegetables near Victoria, BC for the past 12 years. She leases a total of 1.5 acres in two parcels, and makes her living selling vegetables to restaurants, grocery stores, farmers’ markets and through a vegetable home delivery program. Robin holds an MA in Food Policy from the University of Victoria. She serves on several boards of directors, including USC Canada, UBC Farm and The Islands Organic Producers’ Association. She has recently co-authored a book about her work with Saanich Organics called “All the Dirt: Reflections on Organic Farming” and will be describing how she and two other organic farmers set up a local small producer distribution network.
The popular Garden Panel will again answer questions from the audience about everything from building your soil, to propagation, to growing local and exotic varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers and other gardening- related topics. The panel will include Megan Halstead (Halstead Farms), Connie Kuramato (Gardens to Go), Simon Toole (Good Earth Farms) and Jennifer Waller, an avid amateur gardener since she could walk, with a background in ethno-botany.
Other speakers include: Peter Janes, an orchardist and plant propagator from Denman Island. His brief 20 minute presentation will highlight some of the best practices and biggest hurdles in the cultivation of fruit and nut trees. He will also review some of the most successful and least appropriate edible perennials he’s observed in our bioregion in hopes of increasing the successes of local growers. Janes will be joined by Jonathon Schut of Budding Landscapes to describe backyard permaculture design.
Transition Town Comox Valley will host a panel of Project Leaders who will present interesting hands-on projects related to food security in the Comox Valley. These are opportunities for folks to get involved with others in exciting projects beyond their back yard. Lake Trail Neighbourhood Connections will help you get children involved in the garden. A full schedule of events is available. Vendor information will also be posted. The Comox Valley Growers and Seed Savers exist to conserve and preserve our local plant diversity by encouraging and supporting public participation in growing heritage and non-hybrid food crops and other plants.