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Feb. 28, 2018 | Donna Balzer

Grassroots gardening

Calgary's Seedy Saturday offers unprecedented opportunity for local gardeners to try new things

What is the big green event for gardeners this month? If you guessed St. Paddy's Day, you've got the right date, but the wrong activity.

The garden event in Calgary on March 17 involves green, but goes so much further than green beer or shamrocks. Seedy Saturday is a worldwide adventure for gardeners who want to grow their own organic food from locally sourced and selected seeds. Supporting Seedy Saturdays builds community and local habitat.

This year, the Calgary Seedy Saturday is on March 17, and the main event is the seed sale to help you grow a better garden.

The Calgary event is always held at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The focus of Seedy Saturday is the same in every community in Canada and around the world. It is an event that brings local gardeners together to buy or exchange seed, learn about growing from seed and find local resources to grow both local plants and vegetables.

If you are curious about who will be at the local event, the full exhibitor list can be found at closer to the big day.

From personal correspondence, I know Casey of Casey's Heirloom Tomatoes in Airdrie ( will be in attendance. He has already posted a list of tomato seeds and plants he will be offering for sale this year on his website.

Meanwhile, Shane and Tami Woods of Wildrose Heritage Seed ( have also confirmed they will attend Seedy Saturday this year. They raise their own seeds and sell a wide range of homegrown, heritage vegetables in Lethbridge, so they are worth supporting.

Exhibitors share, sell or supply seeds, books and helpful growing aides for gardeners at this grassroots event.

When the doors open, it can be absolute mayhem, as some seeds are rare or quantities are limited. For five hours, buyers and sellers juggle and haggle, while speakers present the latest growing information.

When I'm not at home wrangling my own seedlings, I like to speak to gardeners about theirs. This year, I am one of two featured speakers at Seedy Saturday. If you want to know what parthenocarpy or polytunnels are, please ask! I can help you start your growing program and will be sticking around all day to answer questions and help gardeners grow. If you have a garden question, this is the place to find answers.

With an admission price of only two dollars, Seedy Saturday is one event you can't afford to miss. You can't have this much fun with your rubber boots on anywhere else in town this month.

Donna Balzer's latest book is the Three Year Gardener's Gratitude Journal: Part Diary, Part Personal Growing Guide. For more information about gardening in Calgary, visit

Tagged: Airdrie | Donna Balzer | Garden | Gardening | Green Living | Guest Column | Lethbridge | seeds | Seedy Saturday

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