Everyone from young children to seniors crammed into the Seedy Saturday event held at Okanagan College over the weekend.
It’s been a community staple for 14 years, bringing seed growers and gardeners together to talk plants and plan plots, but in recent years it’s bloomed into something much bigger.
“We’re basically at capacity here,” said Okanagan Master Gardener Rachael Fleming. “And we had to turn away a few last minute requests (from vendors) asking if they could come. We just couldn’t squeeze them in.”
As a master gardener she’s long since known the joys of digging into the earth, planting seeds and watching them grow.
But it’s a desire to create a sustainable life that brought in the masses.
“People are really interested in growing their own vegetables,” Fleming said, adding that there were a remarkable number of children at the event.
“All people from all walks of life are interested in taking ownership of their food. And they’re growing things in their own yard, or even on their balconies.”
It’s something Coral Brinck from Brother Nature has noticed as well.
She and her husband have been vendors for the last four years and over the last two years have seen a serious spike in appetite for the organic seeds they provide.
“People are really starting to realize they have to pay for their foods, and the price for those who want to go healthy isn’t cheap (at the supermarket),” she said. “We are certified organic, so we’re thoroughly inspected by the government, and a lot of people are interested in that.”
Although they offered both vegetable and flower seeds, the former was most popular. Those who are going to plant this year, however, would do well to plant an equal amount of both, she said.
“People need to know that you need to grow the flowers too, so the bees know there is food to come back for,” she said.
That tip and many more were available at the Seedy Saturday event. It won’t be held every weekend, but for those who have questions, the Okanagan Master Gardeners will be around throughout the season.
Starting next month, and going all through May, they will be in all the major nurseries in the valley.
“We set up a table, and members answer questions, point you in the direction of specific plants to buy, or answer insect and pest questions,” said Fleming. “So we are out and available.”
To see where they are, go to www.mgabc.org/content/okanagan.