My first Seedy Saturday last weekend! The convention centre in Victoria was mobbed by earlybirds who arrived to browse the stands for seeds and information about all aspects of growing food and flowers.
Food was big, of course, and some interesting things on offer. A couple of places (Carolyn Herriot’s Garden Path, and Sooke Harbour House) offered a small and special tuber, Oca (Oxalis Tuberosa) which hails from the Andes is gaining some popularity in these parts for its ease of growth and its sharp flavour.
The mushroom growers were there, offering inoculated logs for sale; there was a talk about mushroom growing by local expert Justin Napier of Oystercatcher Mushrooms, which offered some revelations about the nutritional value of mushrooms (one point was that they offer vitamin D, and the content of that is related to how much sunlight they absorb).
Mason (blue orchard) bees were topical – a couple of places to buy the houses, and a talk by Steve Mitchell of Bee Haven Farm.
Yum! Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes) were on sale for eating and growing.
The dynamic duo of Brock McLeod and Heather Walker (Makaria Farm) were selling beans and grain and gave a talk called Growing your own pancakes (organic grains on a small scale). They’re running a grain CSA this year which sounds like a wonderful thing.
And the tireless farmers of Haliburton Farm were selling seeds, seedlings and the benefits of getting involved in a community farm.
I attended a crowded workshop on fruit tree pruning, by Philip Young who keeps the trees of Glendale Gardens in shape. Time was as always too short to cover everything we wanted to know but we got some good advice about winter and summer prunings, tools, tree renovation, and the difference between pruning for growth and pruning to encourage fruit. Recommended manual: The American Horticultural Society Pruning & Training by Brickell & Joyce.
Carolyn Herriot did a brisk trade in seeds and tubers, while promoting her latest book and eponymous talk (The Zero-Mile Diet)