Seedy Saturday sprouts in Victoria

Pat McGuire is happiest when she's out in her garden.

Pat McGuire is happiest when she’s out in her garden.

With spring just around the corner, the James Bay resident will be spending a lot of time in her backyard growing kale, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, garlic, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and squash.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s my meditation. I just empty out when I’m out there. I feel very in touch,” she said, noting her grandparents had their own garden and she’s passed her love of gardening on to her daughter as well.

McGuire has the opportunity to learn more about her favourite pastime as the organizer of the 23rd annual Seedy Saturday this weekend.

As part of the event, hosted by the James Bay Market Society, more than a dozen Vancouver Island farmers will sell their own seeds to the public and provide relevant information for successful growing outcomes.

New and experienced gardeners will have access to all types of seeds including vegetables, fruit, herb or flowers.

There are also 16 speakers on a variety of topics, including how to grow a variety of seeds in one pot, the importance of bees as pollinators and growing your own mushrooms.

New this year, there will be live chickens and a company teaching residents how to raise their own chickens in a backyard.

“This is keeping seeds circulating locally, it’s building a stronger seed supply,” McGuire said, adding they expect to see roughly 2,000 people.

“We’re an urban environment and I think there’s a pretty big environmental awareness around here. It’s a tremendous opportunity for people who want to get inspired in an informal way. It’s a community show.”

Seedy Saturday takes place on Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Victoria Conference Centre (720 Douglas St.) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is $7 and youth under 16 are free. For more information visit jamesbaymarket.com/seedysaturday.