Linda Geggie is the executive director with the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable and can be reached at lgeggie@cfair.ca.

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Farms bustle with activity even in the winter months

Linda Geggie is the executive director with the CR-FAIR

You would think that during the colder winter months you would see the farm community with a little more time to kick back and take a holiday. These days that seems to be a bit of a fallacy. I was surprised to hear from Robin Tunnicliffe of Saanich Organics that December was their biggest month this year.

Robin said that market sales have been bustling. That certainly says something about our Island growing season and also points to a keen and growing interest in local food year round. It may seem that planting season is a ways off, however this is the time of year to get your planning done and source your seeds. Although garden stores are increasingly carrying local seeds well adapted to our area, in my opinion you can’t beat meeting the seed growers and distributors first hand. The way to do that is to head to one of the many “Seedy Saturday” occurring in our region over the next few months.

RELATED: Food security is related to income

The Saanich Seedy Saturday was held at The Gardens at HCP on Jan. 12 and showcased an abundance of local certified organic seeds along with tasty produce, children’s activities, and many quality vendors. Guest Speaker Dr. Trevor Hancock, spoke on the topic of “Feeding a One Planet Region” touching on how the District of Saanich leads the way with One Planet Living initiatives

If you missed that one, not to worry you can head to the Victoria Conference Center on Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Seedy Saturday 2019 is organized by the James Bay Market and you can follow this link to learn all about what is in store. They boast that “over a dozen of the islands’ finest seed producers” will be on hand and that “ You’ll also find an abundance of other delightful and delectable things to grow from tubers, corms, bulbs, whips, and starts, all sold by knowledgeable local growers” . Also on hand will be plenty of advice, tools and gardening supplies. There will be many local garden societies, volunteer opportunities, and educational programs available to gardeners, and as per usual, a series of great informative workshops.

RELATED: Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

You could also “Gear up for Gardening” at Sooke’s 10th annual Seedy Saturday. It will be held on February 23, 2019 from 10am- 3pm at the Sooke Community Hall on 2037 Shields Road. Sooke Food CHI organizes this event that will host a range of seed and plant vendors, a seed exchange table, plus educational displays featuring information on everything from composting, to keeping bees, workshops, and a Kids Zone for a great family-friendly event.

The 2019 Islands Agriculture Show is also just around the corner, being held at the Saanich Fairgrounds this year. The theme is “Prospering in a Time of Uncertainty.” The event website promotes the show that “provides a venue for farmers, rural landowners, farm organizations, equipment dealers, service providers and the general public to learn, connect and engage”. The show will be held February 1-2, and will host a trade show and conference sessions on everything from Army Worms to Aquaponics.

RELATED: Seven years later, Saanich still stalling on Panama Flats

Another event coming to the region again this winter is Farmer2Farmer. This year the regional farm community will focus on Climate Change. What is the science telling us we will see in the future, what are we already noticing and what do we need to learn and do to adapt going forward? The event will be held February 28th at the Saanich Fairgrounds; you will be able to register at www.farmer2farmer.ca.

So whether you are a backyard grower or commercial farmer there is certainly lots to keep you busy in your down time over the winter!

Come on Saanich, let’s get growing!

Linda Geggie is the executive director with the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable and can be reached at lgeggie@crfair.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

Police investigating alleged assault on Oak Bay Avenue

Staff at Oak Bay Home Hardware say one person was taken to hospital

Oak Bay neighbourhoods rocked by blasting activity

Oak Bay seeks new rock blasting bylaw regarding ‘continuous’ noise

Roadside barriers, amphibian fencing to be installed along Prospect Lake Road

Crews on-site 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., traffic impacts expected through September

Greater Victoria hardly making a dent in greenhouse gas emissions target

One-per-cent drop from 2007 to 2018 a far cry from the 33-per-cent goal for 2020

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Old-growth forest defenders in Campbell River call for B.C. forest minister’s resignation

Protestors outside North Island MLA’s office ask government to stop old-growth logging

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read