The earth is sleeping, but a good gardener never rests.
Over one hundred green thumbs got a head start on spring during Seedy Saturday, a seed swap and information fair held at St. Jude’s Anglican Church on Saturday.
Besides trading seeds from their gardens for new plants and flowers to try next season, attendees perused a variety of horticulture-themed vendors and took in a presentation on how to spot seedlings in winter from event organizer Dana Schultz of Your Private Gardener.
Schultz said Seedy Saturday, now in its fourth year, draws a crowd because gardeners love to talk dirt. “It’s an opportunity for gardeners to get together and see people they wouldn’t normally,” she said.
The chance to get free organic seeds straight from someone else’s garden is also a draw.
“It’s a little more personal,” Schultz said of the seed swap.
Ambur Watt came to get seeds for her garden and ideas for a seed swap she is helping organize in Hamilton.
“We are trying to promote community gardens,” Watt said. “A lot of people live in apartment buildings, so they can’t have gardens.”
The free seed swaps are a boon for people on fixed incomes who might not be able to afford seeds from a nursery, she added. Each attendee at Saturday’s swap left with a complimentary packet of seeds from Antlers Services to help their gardens grow this spring.
Proceeds from Seedy Saturday, which included a food drive, used book sale, and a bake sale hosted by the church, go to the St. Jude’s family outreach program.
“They’re a wonderful group here,” said Schultz, who started taking care of the St. Jude’s garden six years ago.
This year, Schultz is excited to launch a lecture series at the church called “The Emergence of Spring,” which will introduce audiences to the seedlings, shoots and critters that call the garden home in winter. The series begins Feb. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visit www.yourprivategardener.ca for more information.
“I’m always learning. Every time I’m in the garden, there’s something new to discover,” Schultz said.
Watt believes that with a little help, everyone can enjoy the benefits of gardening.
“People either find that gardening is expensive or they can’t do it,” she said. “All you need are a few good tips and the right seeds.”