It’s that time again! Seedy Saturday is this Saturday, March 14. Come on down to the OLPH Parish Centre between 10am and 2pm to get into the planting mood! There are lots of vendors and some great workshops planned.

The KFPC will be there with our Seed Library collection, and a seed swap table. Bring any seeds you have to trade, or sign up as a library member and take out seeds for free (returns welcome, but not required) 


AND – We are once again offering our spring fruit-tree pruning workshop, but with the added component of an introduction to espalier. Greg Houghton will guide participants through the basics of when, why, and how to prune, and then focus on how to train trees to grow into specific shapes and forms.

Participants will then have the chance to practice on some espaliers in progress under his expert guidance!

For more information and tickets, go to Eventbrite.

There is an excellent opportunity for local food businesses to grow through the Food Business Planning Workshop!

This workshop is ideal for micro, small, and medium-sized food processors looking to improve and/or expand their operations, as well as farmers looking to create value-added products.

Funded by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, in partnership with the Small Scale Food Processor Association (SSFPA) and delivered by the Farm Food Drink team of specialists, the Food Processor Business Planning Workshop is a 2-day, 9 module workshop series that covers: business planning, marketing, product development, financial planning, quality management, packaging, production & costing, logistics, and resources & networking.

This 2-day workshop costs $100 +GST per participant and requires you to meet certain eligibility requirements. But, in return, you get access to industry experts, connect to people in the area, and you keep the 8 modules and exercises covered so that you can take what you worked on and apply it immediately to your business.

More information on the workshop can be found here.

As the saying goes – spring is just around the corner, and there’s something in the air that makes me want to get out my seed packages and a bag of soil and plant something!

In the 1980’s, when I started gardening, shopping for seeds and plants was not nearly as interesting as it is today. Tomato hybrids like Better Boy and Early Girl were at the height of popularity and there were usually only 5-6 varieties of tomato plants available at garden centres. The choices in other vegetables were even more limited. With a resurgence of interest in open-pollinated and heirloom vegetables, shopping for plants or seeds today is becoming so much more exciting! Tomatoes and most other vegetables come in every size, shape and colour, and the flavours are just as varied. Purple potatoes, watermelon radishes, lemon cucumbers?! The hardest thing is not going home with many more seeds or plants than you need.

Still, we apparently have nowhere near the abundant choices that we once had. It’s estimated that over the last century, something like 90% of our seed biodiversity has been lost as large seed companies took over ownership of seed stocks and let unusual varieties dwindle in favour of the most popular commercial varieties. The National Geographic infographic below, illustrates the scope of the problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To get some insight into this issue, join us on Wednesday, February 27 at the TRU Alumni Theatre for a screening of SEED: The Untold Story. It’s a beautifully crafted and visually stunning documentary following some of the world’s most passionate and dedicated seed savers as they battle to preserve some unique and valuable seed varieties. It’s both an inspiring story and a call to action. Following the movie, we will have a panel discussion and Q&A with some local seed champions to help us learn what we can do to help save our remaining food biodiversity. Show time is 7pm – doors open at 6:30. Admission is by donation. There will be popcorn available as well as a surprise treat from our Social Enterprise Project! Please bring your own water bottle.

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind.

SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.

Part of the Films for Change series
Sponsored by TRU’s Office of Environment and Sustainability
A panel discussion to follow the screening | Admission by donation

Doors open at 6:30, film starts at 7 PM
TRU Alumni Theatre (Clocktower) | 900 McGill Road

Fermentation is a great way of preserving the harvest and producing your own nutritious snacks and condiments. Have you been wanting to get in on the fermentation trend, but just haven’t gotten around to it? Or maybe you’ve dabbled at fermenting, but want to try something different? Read more

** We have a jam-packed session planned for the November Network Meeting. Because of this, please be ready to start at 5:30 on the dot (the legendary potluck will start shortly after that) **
Read more

Join us for our AGM on August 1. Following the meeting, we will savour our Legendary Potluck al fresco. Enjoy a stroll through the garden at your leisure and see the fantastic things going on at Gardengate. We look forward to seeing you there! Read more

One of the awesome things about a seed library is that it attracts  generous people who love to grow unusual fruit and vegetables. Ann-Marie Hunter is thrilled with the soybean varieties she’s been growing, and wanted to share them, so she contacted us about donating some to our library. Of course we said, “Yes, Please!”

CC photo by Jessica Lucia

We are also awaiting a donation of some kiwano (horned melon) seeds. I turns out they are not only beautiful to behold, but are packed with antioxidants and have a lot of health benefits.

Sharing seed is the best way to ensure that unusual or heirloom varieties continue to survive and thrive. The more people growing them, the better the chance they have. A small amount of seed can go a long way – the estimated return on a bean seed is 120/1!

For more information, check out the Seed Library page on our website or look for us this summer and fall at the Farmers Market and other local events.


Garden Tool Maintenance Workshop

Lawrence, our tool-sharpening guru, will help you get your garden tools in shape for gardening season and talk about how to care for them so they will last longer and work better. Read more

Citizen Science is a way of engaging the general public with and democratizing science. What makes citizen science dependable is the training and the following of protocols.

Read more