LITERALLY – it is the MOST wonderful time of the year – SEEDY SATURDAYS ARE UPON US! (soon)
YES – you can swap seeds this year! YES – seminars and webinars will still be on – just virtually! and YES – Seed vendors will still be selling – links will be available to their website, if you don’t already know them yourselves!
BUT NOOO – You cannot gather and mill around inside or out, as in-person seed trading will not take place. Sorry!
TAKE HEART! Here’s what’s happening and how you can still trade seeds:
Each neighbourhood/catchment/community will be hosting a seed exchange. We (event hosts, including me) are collecting seeds ahead of time. They are sorted by volunteers, and some re-packed. This year, it is strongly requested/recommended to pack your own seeds and label them for donation.
PLEASE SPECIFY: Seed type (as much detail as possible), the year it was collected, and YOUR FULL NAME (This will be needed for when you make your seed requests – but also, do you know how many Mike’s I know?).
Don’t run out and buy envelopes! You can DIY your own or re-use old envelopes. I found a great DIY envelope tutorial and tried it out – it was super easy! But do as you like with whatever you have in your home. It’s best if placed in paper – not plastic. Plastic retains moisture and seeds can rot. If ziploc is all you got, don’t worry, seeds are collected regularly and will be sorted. Just be sure it’s sealed air-tight!
OKAAAYYYY – Start filling those envelopes! Believe it or not, there is a standard to filling envelopes. What is a healthy amount that says, “I’m not stingy sharer of seeds”?. Too many seeds can hold moisture, and not enough can leave people feeling kinda ripped off… As a general rule of thumb, the amount depends on the size of the seed; If you have runner beans – (those can get huge! Almost 3/4″!) 5 in a coin envelope is plenty. But for something like amaranth, 10-15 is adequate. Plus: how much can you really cope with once they start to mature and spread in girth?
Location, Location, Location: I am in York/Weston/Rockcliffe Smyth, and our collection/event spot is Supercoffee Coffee shop at the S/W corner of Weston and Eglinton, west Toronto. You can check the Toronto Urban Grower’s and Seedy Saturday website for virtual event updates.
SEED REQUEST FORMS will be available for download (stay tuned!) to list your preferred choice of seeds you are wanting the most. (Maximum up to 5) Then you email them to the event contact (York/Weston/Rockcliffe-Smyth/Mt. Dennis is firstname.lastname@example.org). If you donated seeds earlier, please put a note with your name on it, so those can be packed for you – this is the “exchange” in action…
From there, we take requests and begin to bundle the seeds for pickup from the event location.
If you haven’t contributed or donated seeds, THAT IS OKAY – Send in a request anyway! There is a PWYC (pay-what-you-can) fee for the seeds at the door (5 cents upwards to whatever fits your generous mood. All proceeds go towards Seeds of Diversity and covering costs associated with the immediate event (it really isn’t much, save for a poster or two). Whatever your circumstance, donations are appreciated with much gratitude. As always, if you’re in a really generous mood, but gun-shy about donations and how they get to where they’re supposed to go, click on seeds of diversity to do it securely!
Don’t have a printer, or don’t want to print? Email your community event organizer your seed requests. Maximum limit of 5. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember: free (ish) seeds isn’t the same as free groceries; I couldn’t begin to figure out where I was going to be able to plant 10 types of beans along with 50 kales! Because seeds have a shelf-life (hard to believe but true), you want just enough for this year and some left over for next year.
Make a mention on your requests if you need assistance (if you are a senior or person with physical disability and not able to come to pick up your requested seed bundles) so delivery can be arranged.
ON COVID-19: The following statement is from Seeds of Diversity on seed exchange and COVID-19. Research has shown that the virus itself cannot survive on hard surfaces, such as paper and desks beyond 24 hrs.
BUT STILL: practicing good hygiene is both good for the soul, and the seeds:
YAY! Are you excited???! 2021 is the year, whether socially distanced or socially awkward, the thumb be brown or be green, we will continue to plant a garden, come hell or high water and turn our focus to the real enemy of our shortcomings: raccoons, squirrels, cats, and powdery mildew!
Ahh…winter is here. And spring is coming!