On Feb. 16, Lillooet Food Matters (LFM) hosted the Fifth Annual Seedy Saturday at the Lillooet Friendship Centre. It was an exciting event, with people arriving well before the appointed time of 9:30, eager to see what seeds were offered. Seed-seekers continued to arrive throughout the morning, from Merritt, Spences Bridge, Clinton, Loon Lake, Lytton, Pemberton, Mt. Currie, Bralorne, Shalalth, and the other communities closer to Lillooet. This year's event far exceeded expectations for the number of people attending and the amount of seeds swapped and sold.
As usual, the seed swap tables were the centrepiece, heaped with bags and jars of precious seeds saved by folks eager to share with other gardeners and seed savers. A major hub of activity was around the seed company tables, featuring a beautiful display by local Planting Seeds Project (PSP), as well as Mountain Seed Company, Sunshine Farm, and Stellar Seeds, all small-scale BC businesses offering open-pollinated, heritage and heirloom organic seeds.
Mojave Kaplan of PSP also set up a fun table with lots of multi-hued, different-sized seeds and glue and scraps of paper for spontaneous art creations by kids of all ages.
Humming in the background of the morning events was the seed winnower, run by PSP's Martin Faucher, demonstrating how effectively the winnower cleans seeds of all sizes and shapes.
Gillian Smith had a beautiful display of some of Susan Brown's heritage potato varieties which Gillian continues to grow. More than 100 pounds of different coloured seed potatoes were happily carried away.
Once again we were grateful to have Sue Senger as our gardening and seed-saving expert. Sue was greatly encouraged by the positive response to her display promoting the use of portable electric fences to protect gardens and orchards from hungry bears.
Also returning this year, Kim North showcased the work of Split Rock Nursery, including a remarkable collection of native seeds, and Odin Scholz informed people with his Invasive Weeds Council display.
Presented by Eleanor Wright, an informative display illustrated the valuable work of Seeds of Diversity, a national organization of gardeners and farmers working to preserve the rich biodiversity and heritage of Canada's food plants, through a permanent national Seed Library.
LFM made an important announcement at this year's Seedy Saturday: designed by Lillooet Food Matters and built by Scott Bodaly, a portable Seed Lending Library is being created to make seeds available to local people along with how-to-grow and seed-saving information, with the hope that if successful, they will return some seeds to the library for others to "borrow".
When ready, the Seed Lending Library will go to community events, the Farmers Market, schools, etc. Our hope is to contribute to local food security by encouraging people to learn to grow food and save seed adapted to this place.