EDITORIAL: Seed exchange sprouts ideas

NANAIMO – Growing one’s own food allows for control of quality and costs.

With all the talk these days about promoting urban agriculture and the Island’s dwindling local food supply, Nanaimo’s Seedy Sunday is a perfect opportunity to learn more about producing your own food.

Being able to nurture a plant from seed through to maturity, and then harvesting the seeds from that plant for use in years to come is a rewarding process.

It also saves money – at $3.50 per package, commercially bought seeds add up quickly.

But seed saving takes some work and some knowledge – not just any seed from any plant can be saved – and the whole process can be a bit daunting, especially when just starting out.

That’s where Seedy Sunday comes in.

Hundreds of local gardeners gather at Bowen Park Auditorium March 3 to share advice and knowledge.

Attending one of the event’s workshops or talking with others helps make the whole process less mystifying.

The seed exchange table allows people to diversify what is in their gardens at little or no cost – often people find plant varieties at a seed exchange event that cannot be bought from a commercial company and this diversification of seed sources helps increase food security.

Homegrown food gives people more control over what is used to grow it – they can choose not to use chemical fertilizers on their own plants – and what goes in their bodies.

There is also the quality aspect: a homegrown lettuce picked fresh that day often has so much more flavour than one bought in a store.

If people are concerned about where their food comes from and want to join the urban agriculture movement, Seedy Sunday is a good place to start.