I’ve been loving the fruits of my garden this (pre-)spring: the kale, the leeks, the collards, celery, parsley and mustard greens that have overwintered and become sweet and nourishing. I can’t wait for the exquisitely tender spring shoots and flower heads that will soon start branching off those brassicas. All these things that are best eaten straight from the garden, rather than after weeks in containers and warehouses – since storage diminishes the vitamins and enzymes you find in freshly-harvested foods.
Feed myself with leafy greens though I may, I wouldn’t say I’m the most gifted gardener on the planet. (If I were I might not have chosen a house with a north-facing garden encircled by Garry Oak trees!) But I have been blessed with exceptional teachers, friends and neighbours who’ve shared their wisdom, seeds, seedlings and techniques.
One of the things I’ve learned is the importance of seed saving – and seed sharing. Victoria Seedy Saturday is coming up and will be my third such this year. Haliburton Farm held a hugely popular event at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific in mid-January. A week or so later, the Gorge Tillicum Urban Farmers swapped seeds that were mostly locally grown.
Next week, Victoria Seedy Saturday fills the Victoria Conference Centre with seeds, greenery and gardeners. I’ll be one of the speakers, my topic Superfoods – in Your Own Backyard. See you there? Come say hello! I’ll be at the book table afterwards with my book on food security: Digging the City – An Urban Agriculture Manifesto.