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Gardeners congregate at seed-saving event

Instruction for novices and supplies for veterans under one roof

Like a robin in springtime, Seedy Saturday heralds another growing season for many Powell River gardeners. The family-friendly garden fair returns to Powell River Recreation Complex on Saturday, March 10.

Sponsored by Powell River Farmers’ Institute, the event features a community seed swap plus eight workshops, information displays and vendors of garden products.

The heart of the event is the seed swap in the Arbutus Room. The swap is pre-seeded with hundreds of packets of vegetables, herbs and flowers, donated by local farmers and gardeners for when the doors open at 10 am. Gardeners can swap their homegrown seeds and garden-related books or magazines. For anyone new to gardening or seed saving, seeds are available for sale for 50 cents a packet, up to a limit of 10.

This year’s event has grown to include the upper foyer of the complex. A grant-in-aid from the City of Powell River for 2012 assisted the non-profit farmers’ institute to invite more seed companies and local garden-related businesses. Vendors will be selling products like seed potatoes, asparagus roots, potting mixes, organic fertilizers, worms, bees, bee houses and much more.

Eight gardening workshops run in two streams throughout the day in the Spruce and Elm rooms. The schedule features the following topics: extending the growing season; permaculture; soil microbes; wild weeds as medicines; seed-saving; composting; vermiculture; and choosing vegetable varieties for Powell River. There is also a silent auction full of organic food and practical garden and farm items to help fund the event. Many volunteers are on hand at information tables about clubs, organizations and projects that support agriculture in our region.

Family Place operates a fun-filled children’s activity corner during the day so families with young children can attend. The Seedy Café also dishes up tasty snacks, meals and beverages, to encourage fairgoers to stay until the event ends at 3 pm.

Admission for the entire garden fair is $2 for adults. Children under 12 attend for free. For more information, readers can visit the farmers’ institute website or contact Kevin Wilson at 604.483.9052.