Don’t let the thick white drifts fool you, spring is around the corner.
The posies and veggies are a long way from fruition, but planning for planting has to begin about now. From fertilizer to foliage, root to fruit, flowers to foodstuffs, it all germinates at Seedy Saturday, the annual growers gathering that kicks off spring thinking in Quesnel.
This year’s Seedy Saturday is already set to bloom at the College of New Caledonia (100 Campus Way) on March 25, and it is so much more than just a seed exchange. There are kids activities, food preservation demonstrations, information sharing, and workshops on many topics of ag-interest. All the events inside the event are free of charge.
“Learn how to grow good food and how to preserve it for the rest of the year plus lots of other interesting, helpful related stuff,” said event committee member Maureen Trotter.
This year, our theme is Home Grown. The organizers recognized that the pandemic lockdown changed many peoples’ views on growing their own foods and flowers at home, and that has only deepened since the post-COVID spike in food prices.
“We want to encourage as many people as possible to help save money by growing some of their own food at home. Even if all you have is a window, container gardening is a possibility,” said Trotter.
Learn the details of growing herbs at 9 a.m. with Jean Atkinson of Richbar Nursery.
Learn about bees of the area at 10 a.m. with CNC biology instructor Jennifer Catherall, as well as how to forage for food and medicine with Sharon Primeau, Tsilhqot’in herbalist.
At 11 a.m. hear Stephanie Bird from Slow Train Farm and the Central Cariboo Community Food Hub talk about how to save seeds for next year.
At 12 noon, Oliver Berger from the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society will explain the many ways to compost to feed your plants well.
For those who are thinking about the possibility of growing food to sell, at 1:00 Robert Borsato, of Mackin Creek Farm, a Certified Organic market garden for over 30 years, will talk about how to create a market garden.
The city of Quesnel now allows people to have chickens in their backyard, so at 2 p.m. Wilma Watkins, Walk’in Acres and FARMED will teach interested people how to raise chickens and turkeys.
At 10 a.m. and noon there will be apple knowledge sliced up for participants. Jennifer Linnegar-Johnson of Petty Catwater will be teaching everything you need to know about dealing with the abundance of apples we have around here in the late summer and fall, demonstrate dehydrating apples and other fruit, how to make apple flour, and how to cook with apple flour.
Community food groups and vendors who have seedlings and other garden related products and ideas are welcome to reserve a table in the atrium. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. These information stations will have lots of useful knowledge to pass on as well.
“Growing your own food is such a good idea on so many levels,” said Trotter. “Knowing we have high quality food in our back yards improves our food security. Gardening is good exercise and one might venture to say it is also good for our mental health, being outside, hands in the soil, and involved in productive work. Local food production also helps the planet if we can cut down on the amount of food hauled in from long distances. So come and learn what you need to get growing.”