Saturday August 30, 2014

Seed show for everyone


Assiniboine Food Security Alliance (AFSA) is pleased to present the 4th annual Prairie Sun Seed Festival to be held on Saturday, February 22 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Dr. Brass School in Yorkton. This festival brings together people interested in saving heirloom garden seeds, growing food, meeting local food producers and those with gardening expertise. They all share a passion for working towards increasing food security in Yorkton and the surrounding region. Admission is a non-perishable food item or cash donation to be donated to local food bank programs.

One of the seed festival’s features is the seed swap table. Anyone with seeds to give away or swap should bring them in a container or envelope clearly marked with the name of the seed and any information to be shared with a new recipient. Seeds taken to the seed swap table can be exchanged throughout the event. This also enables people to tell the story of seeds they wish to share. Seeds from heirloom varieties will be accepted. Seeds saved from hybrid plants will not be the same as the hybrid plant. Old gardening magazines or books no longer needed, will be gladly accepted and can also be exchanged at the seed swap table.

Exhibits by local food producers provide a chance to meet local growers and suppliers from our region and to learn about their products and operations. Heirloom seed sellers provide a wide variety of vegetable, fruit and flower seeds for sale. Other exhibits include Seeds of Diversity, the Community Garden Alliance, the new Gardener’s Market and the Yorkton Public Library. Check out AFSA’s exhibit if you would like to learn more about food security, school yard gardens, Grow ‘N’ Share, Potluck & DVD Nights or would like to become a member or volunteer.  

“Name That Seed” is a fun new activity for 2014. Is it maize, quinoa, potato? Stop by with a friend and see if you can name all 10 seeds.

Workshops presented by local residents highlight the knowledge in our community and province. Jim Ternier of Prairie Garden Seeds will open the festival at 1:00 pm with an introduction on how Seedy Saturdays came to be.  Jim is well known for his expertise in growing and saving seeds at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster.

Workshops begin at 1:15 p.m. starting with Kevin Hryhoriw talking about raised beds. Kevin is responsible for the City of Yorkton’s downtown raised beds. If you are looking for a way to reduce the effort needed for jobs such as planting, weeding and harvesting, then you’ll be interested in this session. Raised beds are also a great way for first time gardeners who want to grow food.

At 2:15 p.m. Marie Vermette and Tonia Vermette from Prairie Dome Potatoes will talk about the many varieties of potatoes available. If you are not sure of the difference between a Yukon Gold, Viking, Red Pontiac or the many different types of Russets, then Marie and Tonia will guide you with information and cooking tips for each variety.

At 3:15 p.m. members of the Community Garden Alliance will provide an overview of the progress of the community garden including the challenges and successes. Many volunteers have contributed to the development of this garden located adjacent to the Alliance Church parking lot on Allanbrooke Drive in Yorkton.

The Prairie Sun Seed Festival is a family friendly event. While the workshops are underway, children can attend a story time with activities organized by the Yorkton Public Library and the Boys and Girls Club of Yorkton.

The seed festival is one project of Assiniboine Food Security Alliance (ASFA). AFSA provides practical, learning opportunities enabling people to access and consume food appropriate for a healthy life. Sunrise Health Region, Public Health, supports AFSA and its vision that “all are living well with the gift of good food.” This is an example of the Health Region’s vision “Working together for healthy people in healthy communities.”



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