Seedy Saturday Capacity Building

Seedy Saturday event organizers interact with each other, various seed vendors, gain seed and gardening knowledge, learn about local resources, and seed swaps. As a provincial organization, we have the experience and privilege to act as a convenor in support of local communities who are doing this work at the grassroots level.

We are expanding the scope of our program in response to the growing desire for food sovereignty in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic. In February 2021, we collaboratively hosted BC’s first-ever province-wide Virtual Seedy Saturday Conference alongside numerous independent Seedy Saturday groups. This conference was in direct response to Seedy organizers’ collective call to deliver a pandemic-friendly gathering. COVID-19 has increased awareness of local food and seed issues nationwide while simultaneously making it harder for us to engage in resource sharing and knowledge transfer. We hope this series of events grow and become more collaborative in our virtual world.

What Are Seedy Saturdays?

Seedy Saturdays (and Sundays) are collaborative, community-focused events that connect people through a vital aspect of our food system: seeds. These one-day seed selling fairs and knowledge transfer events across Canada are opportunities to engage, educate, and inform the public about seeds at the local level. Seedy Saturdays empower growers of all levels to use open-pollinated and heritage seeds, exchange seeds within their communities, and share their seed-saving and environmentally responsible gardening practices.

More than a quarter of Canada’s Seedy Saturday and Sunday Events take place throughout BC. Seed swapping is a practice thousands of years old and can likely be traced back to the early days of agriculture when seed saving and sharing was often the work of women in agrarian cultures.

The current system by which few seed companies produce for everyone is a modern – and problematic – practice. This model lacks public input, farmer participation, and too often, shared ownership of seeds. The contemporary version of seed swapping started in 1989 with a committee of organizers headed by Sharon Rempel. They held the first Seedy Saturday event a year later in Vancouver.

BC Seedy Saturdays/Sundays Calendar

For national Seedy Saturday/Sunday listings please visit Seeds of Diversity’s listings here.

2021 BC Virtual Seedy Saturday Conference

Dr. Vandana Shiva’s Keynote Speech – Virtual Seedy Saturday Conference.

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