Planting the seed at first annual Seedy Saturday

Lisa Goudy
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Rachelle Ternier of Prairie Garden Seeds from Humboldt talks about seed saving techniques at Moose Jaw's first annual Seedy Saturday event at the Moose Jaw Public Library on March 29, 2014.

Keri Fox was originally planning to hold Seedy Saturday in her living room.

Now, after Moose Jaw’s first annual event at the Moose Jaw Public Library, it might need a larger location next year.

“It turned out to be something really great,” said Fox of Green Sister Gardens, who organized the event. “It’ll be an annual event for sure and I think we’ll have to get a bigger space for next year, which is also really great.”

The event featured two vendors selling heirloom and heritage seeds and other vendors such as the Yara Community Gardens, Permaculture Regina and the environment advisory committee that was raffling off a rain barrel.

“A lot more people turned out for it than I thought there’d be,” said Fox. “I even had a couple of displays show up (Saturday) morning that I wasn’t expecting and it just turned out wonderful.”

In the middle of the room was a seed exchange.

“People have been bringing in their seeds that they saved from last year and just leaving them on the table and take the ones they want to try,” she said. “I’m really passionate about just preserving the diversity of our seeds.”

Fox added the event is to unite old and new gardeners in a place to talk about seed saving.

Jacquie Richardson brought seeds from Germany to Seedy Saturday.

“(I came for) the seed exchange and just to see what’s all here,” she said. “There are seeds here from India and all over the world. So I’m taking some of them to see how they grow here.”

Richardson was one of many people who came to Moose Jaw’s first annual Seedy Saturday event at the Moose Jaw Public Library.

She has been gardening for 20 years.

“Now that I have a two-year-old it’s a lot of work,” said Richardson.

There was also a kids’ area at Seedy Saturday.

“Then they’re doing some crafts for the kids where they put a bunch of seeds into a big container and then they plant them to see how they grow,” said Richardson. “(My daughter’s) planting some seeds too. She’s two so she doesn’t understand but … we’re going to plant some stuff in a little container and watch it grow every day.”

Rachelle and Jim Ternier from Prairie Garden Seeds in Humboldt gave a presentation in the afternoon about seed saving techniques.

“Food has a lot of potential to connect people, to influence our choices and to just tell stories,” said Rachelle. “Starting things from seed is a lot cheaper than buying bedding plants or buying your food from the store, but you need the time to put into nurturing that plant.”

She said seeds such as tomatoes, beans, peas and lettuce are self-pollinating and don’t have that much or a risk of cross-pollinating. Seeds such as squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and melons have a tendency to cross-pollinate.

Rachelle said it doesn’t matter how many seeds are saved each year because some are better than none.

“The seed saving exchange in Iowa has something like 8,000 tomatoes in their collection,” said Jim. “It’s hard to imagine making that many tomato plants. They have full storage so they apparently grow their collection out of a 10-year cycle. So they grow a tenth of their collection every year.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Public Library

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Green Sister Gardens, Yara Community Gardens Germany India Iowa

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