Anyone wanting to get a head start on the spring gardening season should head to the Cache Creek Community Hall between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 4 for the annual Seedy Saturday event. But it isn’t just for gardeners: organizer Wendy Coomber says that in addition to seeds, gardening tips, and yard and garden items, there will also be cottage crafts, collectibles, bannock, homemade sausages, and more. Twenty vendors have been lined up so far.
Shirley Wells, the “Tomato Whisperer” from Laughing Swan Farms, will once more be there with a wide variety of heirloom seeds of all types, from tomatoes and peppers to carrots, herbs, and more. Heirloom seeds have been growing in popularity for many years, as gardeners seek tastier, more succulent versions of produce.
Coomber notes that heirloom varieties go back at least 50 years; some heirloom tomato varieties are more than 100 years old. “They were developed at a time when you just cross-pollinated until you got the taste you wanted.” Many modern varieties of produce have been modified over the years to make them more resistant to disease and give them a longer shelf-life, often at the expense of flavour.
“Without heirloom seeds, there would be no Seedy Saturdays or Sundays,” says Coomber. “Seedy Saturdays and Sundays are a celebration of the ability of farmers and gardeners to be able to gather seeds and produce their own delicious and nutritious food. We don’t have to rely on companies for our seeds or factory farms for our food.”
Master gardeners Elaine Sedgman and Phyllis Macler will be talking about gardening, and will be there for the whole event to answer any gardening questions. Representatives from organizations such as Bridging to Literacy and the Bonaparte Watershed Stewardship Society will be there, and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District will have a booth to talk about recycling.
Students from Cache Creek Elementary School will be there to talk about their Green School Initiative, and there will be a DIY craft table, with people on hand to show how to make seed tapes, plant markers for your garden, bird feeders, and more.
Bannock, as well as local eggs and honey, will be available, and Ron Dyck of the 108 Mile Sausage Co. will be on hand with a selection of homemade sausages, as well as barbecued smokies. There is no charge for admission.
The Seedy Saturday event in Cache Creek—which is run by the Cache Creek Beautification Society—has its roots in 2004, when the society began holding an annual plant swap. The Cache Creek Farmers’ and Flea Market grew out of the plant swap in 2011, and in turn gave birth to Seedy Saturday. Similar events are held across Canada; other local Seedy Saturdays include one in Lillooet on March 11, one in Kamloops on March 18, and one in Clinton in mid-April.
The 2017 season for the Cache Creek Market begins May 6.