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Centre Wellington holds second annual Seedy Saturday March 17

CENTRE WELLINGTON - Under the umbrella of “Seeds of Diversity,” the Elora/Salem and Fergus Horticultural societies will once again combine to host Seedy Saturday on March 17 from 10am to 1pm.

The venue has moved to Aboyne Hall at the Wellington County Museum and Archives.

Seeds of Diversity is a Canada-wide organization that focusses on preserving seeds and educating the public about the importance of maintaining diversity in the seed population. The group has built up a bank of over 6,000 heritage seeds, all sorted, catalogued and tested for viability.

The group has also been an important factor in the establishment of hundreds of Seedy Saturdays across the country in recent years.

Why an exchange?

Hundreds of years ago, it was normal for each community, village or even household to save seeds from their crop and plant them. They might exchange them, but by and large the seed stock from one area to another would be slightly different, say organizers.

If, as happens from time to time, a pathogen  or disease attacks a particular seed, the damage would be limited.

Nowadays, with mass-production of seeds on an industrial scale, it is possible that the damage would be much more widespread. Granted, seed companies take extraordinary steps to prevent this, but there is always a danger.

One example was Ireland’s potato famine, where the island’s potato crop was decimated leading to massive starvation.

Today there is concern for the global banana industry, which is almost totally dependent on one variety, the Cavendish.

Seed exchange

A seed exchange provides a venue for people who have collected seeds from their gardens over the summer and fall, stored them over winter, to meet to exchange these seeds in the spring.

It is quite acceptable to come and take some seeds home.  There is no cost to participate, although a donation jar is available to help cover expenses.

Gardeners all benefit by learning firsthand the basics of identifying, harvesting, storing and planting seeds.  It can be wonderfully satisfying to follow a seed from a dying plant, through winter, and watch it re-emerge the following spring.

A number of related information booths and vendors will be participating, including those specializing in organic seeds, the honey bee and other pollinators, purveyors of organic and non-genetically modified foods, etc.  “The Seeds of Diversity” organization will be sending a representative.

Master Gardeners of Ontario will be on hand at the seed table to answer any question.  As well there will be a children’s corner where the children can participate in activities related to planting and growing.  

All-in-all a fun and productive way to spend a couple of hours.

For more information, e-mail seedysaturdaycw@gmail.com, or call  Alec 226-369-0193 or Dudley 519-824-7667.

 

March 2, 2018

 
 

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