Community seed swap hits farm stands

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Island Natural Growers (ING) is ensuring Salt Spring has access to seeds this spring even though pandemic restrictions have put the usual events on hold. 

This weekend the organization will present the very first Salt Spring Island Farm Stand Community Seed Swap, taking place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 6 and Sunday, March 7 at a variety of locations across the island.

“In response to the current limits on gatherings and events, we’ve decided to switch up the annual Seedy Saturday event that is usually hosted at the Farmers’ Institute,” the organizers explain in a press release. “This year, we’ve planned an event spanning the whole island, and taking place at individual farm stands. This will allow Salt Springers to buy, sell and trade seeds in a safe environment, patronize their local farm stands, and have a fun day out and about while dreaming of their gardens for 2021.”

Visitors to participating farm stands can bring packaged homegrown seeds to trade or give away, buy seeds from the farm who is selling them (prices as marked) or take packages of donated seeds with a donation to Island Natural Growers. 

“Your donations continue to support our work in promoting sustainable agriculture on Salt Spring Island,” the group explains. 

Anyone who would like to learn more about interacting with the island seed bank should  make sure to visit the Seed Sanctuary at The Root at 189 Beddis Rd. on Saturday. A volunteer who can answer questions about this important local resource will be on site until 3 p.m.

“The staff at The Root are also seeking community donations of tools for the new permaculture garden that will be built on-site. If anyone has unused garden tools to give away, the team at The Root will gratefully accept them,” ING states.

Guidelines for farm stand visits given by Island Natural Growers are to “honour the honour system” by paying the full price indicated by seed growers. When trading or taking donated seed, it’s best to take amounts that will actually be used, and to leave some for the next participant, they say.

Additional requests are that people observe physical distancing and keep two metres apart at farm stands, wear a mask around others, use the hand sanitizer provided before shopping, or bring their own, and drive and park responsibly and safely. 

Participants should also remember to “enjoy yourself, and be mindful of others.”

Everyone is encouraged to share their experience and post photos to Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #saltspringseedswap.

A map with all of the locations is below.

Participating Farm Stands 

• North End Farm – 2521 North End Rd

• 1982 North End Rd.

• Average Acre Life – 105 Fernwood Rd.

• The Piper’s Buns – 740 Walkers Hook Rd

• Whims Road Rainbow Farm Stand – 173 Whims Rd.

• Top O’ the Hill Farm Stand – 191 Fort St.

• Park Drive Neighbourhood Farm Stand – 187 Park Dr.

• The Seed Sanctuary at The Root – 189 Beddis Rd. (Saturday only – until 3 p.m.)

• Heavenly Roots Farm – 430 Dukes Rd.

• Chateau Minvielle Farm Stand – corner of Fulford-Ganges and Kitchen roads

• The Lee Road Farm Stand – 140 Lee Rd.

• Salt Spring Flowers by Tali – 401 Beaver Point Rd. 

• Stowel Lake Farm – 109 Reynolds Rd.

• Salty Botanicals and Gifts – 146 Meyer Rd. 

• The Quarry Farm -190 Jasper Rd.

• 2823 Fulford-Ganges Rd.

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