Local seed events like Seedy Sunday can be a good way to pick up seed from small local seed producers. (Citizen file)

Local seed events like Seedy Sunday can be a good way to pick up seed from small local seed producers. (Citizen file)

Mary Lowther column:Worth buying local seed adapted to climate

We have a number of local seed growers on Vancouver Island

By Mary Lowther

Despite saving many varieties of seed this winter I still had gaps to fill, so I ordered 11 packets of seeds for $60 from Salt Spring Seeds. The price included the taxes and shipping charges. I like Salt Spring Seeds because their products are grown in our climate and therefore more likely to grow well here.

I used to recommend West Coast Seeds. They started off in Oregon as Territorial Seeds before moving north to Delta, to develop and provide seed adapted to our west coast climate. I am disappointed that in recent years they seem to have literally and figuratively abandoned their roots, and now offer seed all over Canada. One can’t be sure the seeds were grown in or for our climate, or last long in storage.

We have a number of local seed growers on Vancouver Island who will be selling their products at Seedy Saturday (see below) but before one buys, one should find out from the seller how their seeds are saved and stored. I know the owners of Salt Spring Seeds and can vouch for their standards and it’s worth it to me to pay for seeds that live up to my expectations, but there’s nothing better and cheaper than growing out my own seeds. Besides, we need to know how to do this in case we can no longer depend on our suppliers.

I check the date the seeds were packed and write on the packet the year they’ll be best until so I know that after that I should test them for viability before planting. Some seeds remain viable long after their “best by” date, so it’s worth hanging on to them. Author A. G Puttoch inherited a piece of furniture from his granddad and, as Puttoch says, “Inside a drawer there was a screwed-up piece of paper on which was written: ‘Melon seed, 1887’.” In 1955 Puttoch sowed the 14 seeds just for the heck of it and every last one germinated into a healthy plant.

As I grow my own seeds, I plan to label the particular plants in each bed. At $60 for 11 packets it seems prudent to save my own winners for the future. It also saves my seed budget for new varieties, and every gardener loves a twofer.

Duncan Seedy Sunday

Sunday, March 19, 2023 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cowichan Tribes Si’em Lelum Gymnasium at 5574 River Rd., Duncan,

Cowichan Green Community (CGC) is pleased to announce their annual Duncan Seedy Sunday is back to being in person! This is an event for local gardeners to source locally grown and ecologically sound seeds, garden starts, and perennials from over 35-plus vendors. This event will also feature activities for children and a series of gardening workshops. Admission is $2 per person. CGC members and children under the age of 13 are free. Food vendors will also be on site rain or shine!

A series of workshops from local experts will also be happening.

Vendor registration will open January 2023, and will close March 3. To register as a vendor or for more information about the speakers and event, contact Hannah Auer by phone 250-597-8200 or by email hannahsophia@cowichangreencommunity.org


429 Too Many Requests

429 Too Many Requests