Welcome to my first blog about launching into organic vegetable gardening—I am starting out small scale, as I am a novice dealing with rocky land and sparse soil—20 minutes away from “Limestone City”, Kingston, Ontario. Join me as I dig up weeds, resources, links, and information on organic gardening.
Today I visited the local Kingston Seedy Saturday event sponsored by OPIRG Kingston and Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul (Heirloom Seed Sanctuary).
What’s Seedy Saturday? Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays are events organized across North America as a way of sharing and selling organic and heirloom seeds. Having seed exchanges is a tradition of the CSA movement—which stands for “Community Shared Agriculture” in Canada and “Community Supported Agriculture” in the United States.
I purchased seeds from Wildsome Gardens and Hawthorn Farm, both Ontario growers. These are the seeds I picked up today—I tried to keep my purchases to a minimum, but I ended up with 16 seed packets (smile):
Flowers—Sunflowers for their beauty and feeding hungry birds; Calendulas (aka pot marigolds) for their beauty and because I confused them with regular marigolds (I hear that marigolds are good companions for herbs and vegetables to keep bugs away.) Calendula flowers are edible, the packet says…so who knows I may add them to summer salads!— I also purchased seeds for Lavender plants–I love their purple beauty and scent–dried lavender is more pleasant than moth balls for drawers and closets.
Herbs—My seed collection includes chives, Italian basil, dill, and parsley.
Vegetables—Red and green leaf lettuce, sugar snap peas, bush beans (French), swiss chard, zucchini, broccoli, arugula, and kale.
In future years I hope to have seeds to exchange with other local gardeners. However, first there’s much to learn about growing healthy plants.
Seed, Farming, and Gardening Resources
I like picking up literature when I go to events. This is a list of some of the organizations that had display tables at Seedy Saturday:
Main Street Market—an urban CSA serving the city of Kingston, growing and delivering organic produce to area members. (mainstreetmarket.ca)
Richters –a vendor of seeds, plants, dried herbs and more near Toronto; provided copies of their 2011 Herb and Vegetable catalogue (http://www.richters.com/)
Hawthorn Farm—organic farmers and sellers of certified organic seeds–located near Palmerston in central Ontario–hawthornefarm.ca
Heirloom Seed Sanctuary—project of Sisters of Providence; heirloom seed saving and education (Providence.ca/seeds)
Canadian Organic Growers Ottawa Chapter—chapter of a national charitable organization with a mission to lead “communities towards sustainable organic stewardship of land, food, and fibre…” www.cog.ca
National Farmers Union Ontario—working toward “the development of economic and social policies that will maintain the family farm as the primary producing unit of safe, sustainable food in Canada.” www.nfu.ca
Wildsome Gardens—growing wild and historic plants and seeds near Warsaw, Ontario–wildsomegardens.ca
USC Canada— a non-profit organization promoting “vibrant family farms, strong rural communities, and healthy ecosystems worldwide” www.usc-canada.org
Seeds of Diversity—formerly called the Heritage Seed Program, a Canadian charitable organization that promotes the conservation and exchange of non-hybrid plants of “Canadian significance”—their website includes a public database of heritage plants– www.seeds.ca