For years gardeners across Canada have enjoyed Seedy Saturdays, but one had never been held in Prince Albert.
That changed last year when Prince Albert resident and gardening enthusiast Rene Blom attended one in Saskatoon, and he was hooked.
“I decided that P.A. should have a seedy Saturday so we got some folk together and organized the event,” he says. “It’s a celebration of open pollinated seeds and seed saving and food security and all those food-related issues.”
Seedy Saturdays allow gardening enthusiasts to swap seeds and gardening advice, but there’s also a more serious bent to the affair.
Blom says they talked a lot about not just seeds, but soil, and what can be done to ensure it’s healthy enough to produce food for future generations.
“We can create the healthy soil, we don’t need the herbicides and pesticides and fertilizers because healthy soil can out produce anything. Nature can do that by itself.”
Attendees not only traded seeds and information, they got to see the North American premiere of The Symphony of Soil, a full-length feature presentation about soil and the relation it has to food quality.
“The movie was an eye opener to a lot of people,” Blom says. “It put a lot of things together in a very well-rounded package, how it’s all interrelated and how climate change and organic farming and food production and what we eat and what we buy is all related.”
Several other organizations were on hand to help run the event, like the non-profit group Council of Canadians, as well as Seeds of Diversity, a national organization concerned with seed quality.
However, most of the talk was about the soil, and how farming affects it.
“There are many things that many people didn’t realize,” Blom says. “Organic farming takes one-fifth of the water that other farming systems use. We have a shortage of water coming up. It’s all interrelated, so that’s the nice part and that’s what people really appreciated.”
Blom says he considers the first Seedy Saturday to be a success, and hopes to hold a bigger version next year. He says there was a lot of information available and hopes everyone left with plenty to think about.
“Hopefully we instigated a lot of people (and) a lot of interest in producing a very healthy environment to grow food in.”