Sunday, February 23, 2014

Seedy Saturday in Kitchener, Ontario

Yesterday, I attended "Seedy Saturday". This is a yearly event that brings together people interested in growing plants from seed, biodiversity, heritage gardening and organic gardening. It takes place in many cities all across Canada. The one I attend is organized by the Kitchener Master Gardeners group of which I used to be a member. It takes place in a branch of the local public library.

Lectures on seed related topics

I expect the event takes slightly different forms in various cities across the country. In Kitchener, Ontario, there are talks and seminars on seed related topics, given by Master Gardeners. My friends Maryanne Weiler and Gwyn Brundrett, two superb gardeners, had a display on how to save seeds. There were also people who sold seeds.  Various groups interested in biodiversity and heritage plants, such as Seeds of Diversity, were represented and, of course, there was a seed exchange, the part in which I am always very interested.

Seeds for sale

The seed exchange is quite simple. People collect seeds from their gardens over the summer and bring their surplus to this event. It is done quite informally. You put your envelopes of seeds on a couple of tables (one for ornamental plants and one for vegetable seeds) and then you can select seeds from those that other people have brought in. If you did not bring any seed, you can still get some and leave something in the donation box set up on the table.

One of the two seed tables
People round the seed exchange tables

In my case, Seedy Saturday is an opportunity to meet many old friends, but also to chat with people you don't know, but with whom you share an interest in growing things from seed. This year, I had an interesting conversation with an Old Order Mennonite woman on turnips. I always find something of interest on the table. Yesterday, for instance, I had just been reading about Coreopsis tripteris, a native plant, and was pleased to find someone had brought seeds for it. Another good find was Silene alpestris.

Seeds I brought back

I also bought a few things with which I am not familiar, including a "climbing spinach" (Basella rubra) and an unusual variety of Morning glory called "Picotee Blue". I forgot to bring my camera, but Bruce MacNeil, the Master Gardener coordinator, was kind enough to send me some of the ones he took.  These are his pictures.


  1. I go to something very similar every year and it's always a great time. I like the surprise of not knowing what you'll find. :o)

  2. Good morning Alain,
    What a wonderful event, I wish we had something similar here. It would be fantastic to meet others with like minds and share tips and time, and to have lectures as well, how sensible. I have grown 'Picotee Blue', and it's stunning, you will enjoy that little beauty. Thanks for the post, have a good one.

  3. Seed exchanges are the best aren't they, you never know what little treasures you're going to find! Seems you had a really good day.

  4. It's always good to find something a bit different.

  5. A seed exchange does look like fun.

  6. Sounds very inspiring. I should go to such an event as I've so many seeds lurking in the drawers...far too many for my humble needs, but I'm terrible for collecting!

  7. A local group of native plant enthusiasts sponsor a seed exchange in late fall every year. It's a fun gathering.

  8. I've attended the Ottawa event a few times. It draws a real crowd of enthusiasts, as fun to see the gardeners as the vendors.


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