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Photo by Jason van Bruggen.

Bring on spring with Seedy Saturday + Seed Saver Run

By Leah Geller on March 1, 2016


It’s that time of year I begin to dream about spring. The warmer and brighter days, getting the bike out again and meals al fresco on the back deck. I also start thinking about planting my small vegetable and herb garden, and where to get the best seeds.

Enter Seedy Saturday, an annual event where gardeners, farmers, seed savers and community organizations like USC Canada come together to buy, sell, swap and talk seeds.

Farmer Jim participates in Ottawa’s annual Seedy Saturday event.

Farmer Jim participates in Ottawa’s annual Seedy Saturday event. Photo courtesy of USC Canada.

A veggie good idea

Seedy Saturday began back in 1990 by a Vancouver gardening enthusiast who found there were few sources of heritage seeds in Canada and wanted to provide herself and others with more seed options. The idea of holding a one-day community event for people to exchange their seeds took off, and today there are more than 90 events held across the country, mostly in early March.

Ottawa’s own

In Ottawa, Seedy Saturday takes place this Saturday, March 5 from 10 – 3 at the Ron Kolbus Lakeside Gardens in Britannia.

It includes workshops on the future of local food production in Ottawa, how to design a great edible garden, and creating a garden that will survive while you’re away on vacation.

USC Canada, in partnership with Just Food, will also be holding a Seed Library Workshop, discussing how communities can create their own seed libraries to exchange, use and learn about plants that thrive in Eastern Ontario.

Of course, there are also lots of opportunities to buy and swap seeds, meet fellow gardeners and local farmers, and learn more about growing your own delicious, healthy, local food.


Photo courtesy of USC Canada.

For those more interested in putting on their running shoes than gardening gloves to support local food, USC Canada is hosting its first ever Seed Saver Run as part of the Ottawa Race Weekend.

The Seed Saver Run is a great way to have fun, get fit and help Ottawa-based USC Canada do its good work helping local farmers around the world save their seeds and grow healthy food.

You can run or walk in any of the events that take place during the Ottawa Race Weekend. These include the 2km, 5 km, 10km, half-marathon and marathon events.

Join the Seed Saver Run on your own, with friends or family, or join a team. There are lots of cool prizes for individuals getting more than $200 in sponsors, and for the team raising the most money.

Are you a Seed Saver?

If you haven’t had a chance yet, check out the I Am a Seed Saver video. It features amazing Canadian singer-songwriters such as Bruce Cockburn, Sam Roberts, Tim Kingsbury from Arcade Fire and Amy Millan from Stars, all talking about why seeds are so essential to a sustainable and nutritious food system.

By buying and exchanging seeds at an event like Seedy Saturday, running to support organizations like USC Canada or sourcing locally farmed food, you too can become a seed saver. Just in time for spring!

To register or find out more about the Seed Saver Run, contact Holly at or 613-234-6827 ext. 231 and she’ll give you all the details. You can also join the Seed Saver Run Facebook page.