Halton Seedy Saturday and Seed Exchange Guidelines
Humans have been saving and exchanging seeds for millenia. Wherever we have grown food, we have saved seeds for next year’s crop, and exchanged them within our communities and with neighbours. Since 1990, these exchanges have been nicknamed Seedy Saturdays and Sundays across Canada.
Today, Seedy Saturdays and Sundays are held in dozens of cities across the country. They are grass-roots events, organised by individuals, community groups, gardening and environmental organizations… really, anyone with a passion for seeds. While there is no “official” definition of a Seedy Saturday, gardeners of all skill levels organise and gather to share seeds, knowledge, stories and experiences. Seedy Saturdays encourage sustainable growing practices and the preservation of heirloom seed varieties, to help maintain biodiversity in our gardens and food system.
The goal of Halton Seedy Saturday is to promote local, ecologically-grown seeds/plants and support local seed producers and growers. Attendees of Halton Seedy Saturday expect all the seeds and plants available at the event to be non-GMO, safe for our environment, and free of seeds from invasive plant species.
We welcome everyone to take part in our Seed Exchange. Keep reading for a few guidelines!
What seeds can I bring to the Seed Exchange?
Our Seed Exchange will focus on seeds for the food garden and for native plants.
You can share seeds collected from your own garden or you can share extra seeds you have purchased in the past year or two.
Please do not bring seeds that are more than 3 years old.
Please ensure that you do NOT bring seeds from invasive plants.
For some guidelines about invasive plants and alternatives, check out: https://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/resources/grow-me-instead/
A few things to keep in mind if you are bringing seeds saved from your own garden:
Save seeds from open-pollinated plants, not hybrids. (The seeds from hybrids are unpredictable, and will not grow into the same variety as you harvested them from.)
The easiest and most reliable plants to save seeds are self-pollinating plants, such as tomatoes, peas, beans and lettuce. Some plants that are trickier to save seeds from are ones that like to cross-pollinate and create unexpected varieties, such as squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, corn, kale, etc. We want to make sure that the seeds we are sharing are setting our fellow gardeners up for success!
Ensure the seeds have been stored in a cool, dry place.
How should I package my seeds?
Please bring seeds that are already cleaned and packaged.
Please label your seed packages with:
Common name of plant and variety (e.g. Green Zebra tomato, Blue Jay bush bean, etc.)
If you know it, include the Latin name (especially for native plants)
The year the seeds were harvested
Where the seeds were grown
Who grew the seeds (optional)
Approximate number of seeds in the package (optional)
Any other information that you think would be helpful or interesting (unique qualities about the variety, growing tips, etc.)
Images of the plant(s) are always welcome! They add some extra excitement to the seed table!
Want to learn more about seed saving?
Join us for a virtual Halton Garden Week presentation:
“All About Seeds and How to Save Them” by Matt Stata
February 28th, 2024 at 7:15pm
Check out Seeds of Diversity resources at https://seeds.ca/seed-gardening-resources/seed-saving/
Do I have to bring seeds to participate?
NO! Everyone is encouraged to take home seeds from the Halton Seedy Saturday Seed Exchange. Just please be conscious and considerate of other gardeners and do not take too many!
Would you like to volunteer at Halton Seedy Saturday?
We are looking for a few more volunteers for our Halton Seedy Saturday, especially for the Seed Exchange table. If you are interested, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.