Lee Sanmiya, seed exchange coordinator for Seedy Sunday, gets hands on with sunflower seeds. Seedy Sunday happens at NDSS on March 4. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin

Seedy Sunday in Nanaimo focuses on its roots

Event happens March 4 at Nanaimo District Secondary School

Nanaimo gardeners plotting for the spring season can swap seeds and get advice at this weekend’s Seedy Sunday.

Nanaimo Community Gardens and Nanaimo Foodshare are hosting Seedy Sunday on March 4 with workshops, vendors and a seed exchange.

Seedy Sunday started in 2002 as a much smaller event and a kind of protest for people to trade seeds and not have to buy them from seed companies, according to event coordinator Glenda Stroomer, who noted it was a time when bigger companies weren’t selling certain seeds anymore and trying to make it so people couldn’t save their own.

Now it’s typical for 800 people to turn out at the event, which has expanded to include more than 65 vendors, a master gardeners’ panel and nine workshops in everything from saving vegetable seeds to caring for mason bees and making compost.

“We have seen it grow,” said Stroomer, who says part of it is that it’s a sign of spring coming and people get excited.

But the event is still true to its roots.

“We still want to emphasize the seed exchange part of that. That’s really what it’s all about,” she said.

Lee Sanmiya, who co-ordinates the seed exchange, said organizers like to keep the focus on the seeds because they are the basis of the gardening and horticulture people do. People bring seeds they’ve saved, volunteers label and package them and people trade.

Participants enjoy the different seeds they don’t see in catalogues, ones they’ve never heard of before and really like talking to the people who saved the seeds because there can be stories around them, said Sanmiya, adding sometimes the exchange is used to get cheap seeds and there could be surprises with cross-pollination if people don’t save seeds correctly.

“But that’s part of the fun of it,” she said.

Sanmiya, on the draw of the event, points to an increase in people growing their own food, an increase in people’s understanding of local food production and the need, and expensive groceries.

“I’m hoping that it’s just a growing awareness that what we really need to do is have a little bit of self-sufficiency, especially here on the Island,” she said.

Admission is $3 for the event, which runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at NDSS. Parking is limited and it’s recommended people carpool, bus or walk.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

OPINION: Nanaimo not only voted, but voted with purpose

Nanaimo’s civic leadership will see the change that so many wanted

Explosion at homeless camp causes brush fire along Millstone

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews haul hundreds of metres of hose down ravine

New Nanaimo Ladysmith school board will need to get its bearings

Trustee candidates waited till midnight Saturday for election results, but say the wait was worth it

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

ELECTION DAY: Krog voted in as Nanaimo’s next mayor

Hemmens, Armstrong, Geselbracht, Brown, Turley, Bonner, Thorpe and Maartman elected as councillors

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

Most Read