By Pat McGuire, for the James Bay Market Society

Are you itching to get back in the garden? Mark your calendar for Feb 18th to be at Victoria’s annual seed and garden show, Seedy Saturday.

Focusing on seed diversity and food security, you’ll find local, organic and heritage seeds, small nurseries with plants and fruit trees, small food producers, and businesses with garden products and services.

Recognized for its educational value, Seedy Saturday presents talks covering basic seed sowing, potting soils, planting for butterflies, seed saving, growing vertically for balconies and small spaces, urban farm animals, and more. Check the website for schedule and all topics (come early, as seating is limited). Informal conversations abound with other gardeners perusing the seed racks, and with the farmers/growers who can advise the best growing conditions for your seed or plant choices.

At the heart of this community event is the Seed Exchange where seeds are donated by backyard gardeners for exchange or sale; a great option for newbie growers and the adventuresome! As well, there is a used garden book exchange, so if you have any books or magazines you no longer need/want, bring them with you — maybe there will be a new one to take home!

Bring the little ones: In the Kids’ Activity Area they make seed balls, participate in an educational activity, or simply read about our environment. It’s never too early to start them on the food self-sufficiency path, and more families come every year.

If you are wanting to connect with a garden club or local environmental organization, many are represented to inform you of their activities and volunteer opportunities.

Seedy Saturday is full of networking opportunities! Join this enthusiastic and friendly group, all inspired and anticipating the new growth and the harvest beyond. Seedy Saturday, Feb 18, 10am-4pm, Victoria Conference Centre, $7 Cash & under 16 free. .