Seedy Saturday is moving to a larger location for 2024. The event, hosted this year by Alberni Valley Food Security Society, takes place Saturday, Feb. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Cedar Room at Echo Centre.
“This year we’ll be in the Echo Centre’s Cedar Room, which has about three times more space than we had for the 2023 event,” coordinators Byron and Kaley Pugh said. “This will leave room for more vendors and more elbow room for attendees. We’re also going to have some community groups like Broombusters and Ocean Friendly Port Alberni.”
Organizers have also introduced a speakers series for 2024, revolving around the theme ‘Sowing the Seeds of Resilience.’ There are three presentations available to the public on a first come, first served basis. At 11 a.m. Angeline and James Street present Backyard Bliss: Urban Garden Design. At 12 p.m. Connie Kuramoto talks about Water Conservation in the Garden. And at 1 p.m., Leo King presents Beans of Production.
The Master Gardeners will be back to answer people’s gardening questions, Seeds of Diversity will have seed-saving information, and the kids’ activity area returns. There will be some starter plants, shrubs and trees available to purchase.
Seedy Saturday features the popular seed exchange table: gardeners who have saved seeds can bring them to the event and trade them for other people’s seeds, or donate seeds without taking anything, Kaley Pugh explained.
“People who don’t have seeds of their own to donate can obtain seeds for a monetary donation. Surplus seeds may be donated to community gardens, and money raised goes toward future Seedy Saturday events.”
There will also be opportunities to purchase seeds from local companies, Byron Pugh explained. “Locally produced seeds have lots of advantages. Many smaller seed companies will focus on varieties that are known to do well in a particular region, or that have been selected over time to thrive in our conditions,” he said.
“You can often get rare or heritage varieties that aren’t available from larger growers; these varieties are usually interesting, beautiful and delicious, but also are usually ‘open pollinated’ and help preserve genetic variation that can be lost when large producers focus on fewer varieties or hybrids. Genetic variation is a potential key to adapting our food production systems to climate change or disease challenges,” he added.