Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seedy Saturday at the RBG

Back at the end of February I volunteered at the Seedy Saturday through my Master Gardener group at the Royal Botanical Gardens. It is a small event where seed enthusiasts can trade seeds or buy from local seed growers. It seemed to attract the vegetable growers primarily and the master gardeners were there to answer questions and give good solid gardening advice. 

An interesting vendor was a fellow from Willow Creek who was selling soil blockers. I laughed to myself when I spied his table because I had brought with me some gardening books and a Fine Gardening magazine from last year with an article on soil blockers! The soil blockers come in a few sizes and are for creating small blocks of soil in which your seeds or seedlings are planted.

If you have the large sizes as well you can replant your seedlings in a larger size block of soil without removing it from the original, thereby reducing damage to the fine young roots. Pretty cool ! No, I did not buy a soil blocker.

Another vendor were the folks from Seeds of Diversity. From their website: "Seeds of Diversity is a Canadian volunteer organization that conserves the biodiversity and traditional knowledge of food crops and garden plants. Seeds of Diversity is the source for information about heritage seeds, seed saving, plant diversity, garden history and your own garden heritage."  Here's the link to their web page. We could use more groups like this to protect our older seed species. If you have a seed saving project near you consider donating a bit of $$, it is for the future.

I picked up some arugula seeds and some purple orach. I had never heard of orach before, but it seems to be a purple version of an edible similar to spinach. Apparently it can be prolific too. We shall see. But first I want to find out how tasty, or not, it is. All in all a pleasant way to spend a few hours.


  1. Seed Diversification event! What a great way for a Master Gardener, like you, to meet her clients!

    How many hours do you have to contribute each month in order to maintain your certification?

    With the rising cost of "almost everything", seed exchange can help reduce the cost of gardening, a little bit. It also encourages people to try crops.

  2. Hi Helen, thanks for visiting. Master Gardeners in Canada volunteer a total of 30 hours a year, 20 of those are with the public and 10 are for administrative-type functions. Not difficult to do, and always a pleasure to meet other gardeners.

  3. Hi Patty, I have never heard of seed blockers before your post. I must look up the Seeds of Diversity website- Thanks for the info!

  4. Jennifer: They are an ingenious garden tool ;)

  5. The seed blockers have caught my eye. I wonder if they will be useful to me more as mini pots/trays. Have you ever used them?