Seedy Saturday to gather green thumbs

By Kassidy Christensen

March 28, 2017 12:00 AM

PLANTERS' PARADISE Trayci Lepp, organizer of Lloydminster's first Seedy Saturday, with her own collection of seeds that will be at Seedy Saturday April 1. KASSIDY CHRISTENSEN LLS PHOTO

Border City gardeners can share their green thumb experiences and swap seeds at Seedy Saturday on April 1.
Lloydminster’s first Seedy Saturday event will host a seed swap table along with displays on seeds and gardening and the chance to network with other growers.
Trayci Lepp, organizer of the event, said she brought Seedy Saturday to Lloydminster to encourage people to get gardening and to think about the seeds they are planting.
“Another part of gardening is saving seeds and when we do that, they’re adapted to our area.
“It’s kind of a few goals in that getting seeds that are good for our area, and also just encouraging that networking and community. We share seeds instead of having to buy them every year, (and) share them with friends and other people in the community,” Lepp said.
The free come and go event will be held at the Ken Burke Meeting Room at the Lloydminster Public Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lepp said, and all ages and abilities are welcome.
Lepp explained Seedy Saturday events have been held since the ‘90s and started in Salt Spring Island, B.C. Events happen all across Canada and include speakers and workshops as well as a seed swap.
“So these small seed companies across Canada will actually set up at the events and sell their seeds and the goal is to promote open pollinated, heritage varieties, and to get people saving seeds that are adapted to their particular area,” Lepp said.
Originally the events were put on as a way of raising awareness for how the variety of seeds available to the home gardener has decreased exponentially since the small seed companies have been bought out by larger companies, Lepp said, and really the concern is to save varieties and to save open-pollinated varieties.
“Which is really important because I can plant those seeds and the seeds from that crop will be exact or very similar to the original parent,” she said, adding a lot of seeds bought from larger companies are hybridized, for better results in cold or short seasons, but,  “because they’re hybridized seeds I can’t save seeds and plant them and get the same plant.”
Locally, Lepp said it’s about getting a base of seeds here in Lloydminster that are going to do well in the area’s growing conditions.
“We have quite a short season…(The season) goes anywhere from 90 to 110 frost free days,” Lepp said.
Despite the short growing season, Lepp said there are tons of options for gardeners.
With the event, Lepp hopes to bring people together who may not have met elsewhere.
“Really the goal is to bring people together, so seeds is kind of the theme but then it branches off into people kind of just meeting each other and what works for them,” she said.
Any seeds are welcome for the seed swap, they don’t have to be open pollenated, organic or heritage, Lepp said.
“There will be labels on the tables, they (attendees) can put their seeds down and they can just walk around and pick up whatever seeds that they are interested in and if people don’t have any seeds and they want to take seeds, it’s just a donation of 50 cents apiece.”
Lepp said this year’s event is a jumping off point for future events, like a perennial exchange, and wants to bring in speakers and workshops in the future.

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