Bees, Native Trees & Seeds, If You Please!

One of many people's favorite things is a home grown tomato, fresh from the garden. But it’s March, and fresh tomatoes can seem a long way away. Even though tomatoes might be several months away, it’s not too early to start planning and thinking about this season’s garden.

This year, please be mindful about WHERE your seedlings are coming from. Especially tomato plants can carry late blight. That balcony garden tomato plant could be producing thousands of spores that travel miles through the air and affect neighbouring farmers' fields. Ensure YOUR seedlings are grown in CANADA.

To jumpstart gardeners of all shapes and sizes, Environment Lethbridge, along with the Lethbridge Bee Enthusiasts and Oxbow Native Plants, hosted Lethbridge’s first Seedy Saturday on March 25.

  Lethbridge's first Seedy Saturday on March 25, 2017

Lethbridge's first Seedy Saturday on March 25, 2017

Seedy Saturdays can be found across Canada. These grassroots events are intended to share knowledge about local food and gardening through seed swaps, workshops and exhibits. In addition to focusing on vegetable gardening, Lethbridge’s Seedy Saturday provided information on native plants and bee-friendly gardening.

Lethbridge’s first Seedy Saturday was a great success. More than 500 people attended and learned from a variety of exhibitors, including Wildrose Heritage Seeds, Permaculture Lethbridge, Oxbow Native Plant Nursery, and Earthly Matters Vermiculture. The Lethbridge Horticultural Society also hosted an Ask-a-Gardener table to help visitors with pressing garden questions.

Seedy Saturday also included two free workshops from Chelsea Sherbut, with the Lethbridge Bee Enthusiasts, who presented on how to make Lethbridge a bee paradise and Rob Taylor from Oxbow Native Plants, who taught participants how to start native trees and shrubs from cuttings.

  Workshop: Chelsea Sherbut from Lethbridge Bee Enthusiasts

Workshop: Chelsea Sherbut from Lethbridge Bee Enthusiasts

The seed swap was a highlight of Seedy Saturday. Visitors were invited to bring their extra seeds to trade for something new. Gardeners who didn’t have seeds to trade were encouraged to take seeds home to try as well.

  Seedy Saturday Seed Swap 2017

Seedy Saturday Seed Swap 2017

OWC was an exhibitor at the event, highlighting the topic of water quality and how the community can take action through the Prairie Urban Garden (PUG) project. The PUG project focuses planting native and drought tolerant varieties in order to conserve water, reduce erosion and reduce storm water run-off, all of which have an effect on water quality. Showing how PUG (and other actions individuals in the community take) have effects on our water quality through our storm water system, is an important step to understanding the community connection to our ecosystem health.

  Everyone - no matter your age! - can play a role in protecting water and ecosystems!

Everyone - no matter your age! - can play a role in protecting water and ecosystems!

If you missed getting seeds to grow your own tomatoes, Seedy Saturday will return to Lethbridge in March 2018. We hope to make next year’s event even bigger and better. If you are interested in exhibiting or volunteering at Seedy Saturday please email info@environmentlethbridge.org or visit www.environmentlethbridge.ca/seedysaturday/ for more information.