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Speakers – Victoria Seedy Saturday 2020

Saturday February 15, 10 am – 4 pm. All talks included with your $8 admission.

Please note that seating for talks is on a first-come, first-served basis, and, if a room has already filled to its legal capacity, you will not be able to get in. If there’s a talk you really MUST hear, please be sure to arrive at the door in good time.

Gardening in Containers – Back by popular demand! And more room than last year.
Michael Cowan
10:30 – Oak Bay Room

Everyone can benefit from growing food in containers: no matter the size, there IS a plant for that container! However, there are some fundamentals to learn which are crucial for success. Michael will cover where to find good containers, choosing the best growing media, what fertilizers you can use and how best to use them, drainage and how best to match plants to the container, which plants are most successful in containers and which are better in the ground. Fruit trees in containers?!?!?! Really??? Yes, some will work… come to the workshop and find out.

Out of concern for where our food comes from and the way we manage our landscapes, Michael Cowan created Edibella Organic Landscapes Inc. 20 years ago. In this time the business has grown from one to 14 employees, managing over 100 properties and constructed over 350 landscapes in the Victoria area. He is an award-winning gardener, an educator for the HCP, Gaia College, and Royal Roads University, has been a gardening host on CBC radio’s ‘On the Island’ and “All Points West” as well as CFAX radio’s ‘Gardening 101’. Michael is also an ISA certified arborist, a Certified Tree Risk Assessor, an IIABC Certified Irrigation Installer and a SOUL Certified Organic Landscape Professional.

Keeping it Local: Stories from Growing the Local Seed Movement
Robin Tunnicliffe
10:30 – Saanich 2 Room

We’ve come a long way from those first Seedy Saturdays. What has changed, what has stayed the same, and what is it going to take to really grow the local seed movement? Find out how you can take part in the important work of preserving traditional seeds, developing locally adapted varieties, and protecting our local seed supply.

Robin has been growing certified organic veggies on the south Island for over 20 years, currently at Sea Bluff Farm in Metchosin. She is also co-owner of Saanich Organics, a farmer-run distributor that sells at the Moss Street and James Bay Markets, through a food-box program, and as a supplier to restaurants. With a strong interest in social justice issues and an MA in Food Policy from UVic, Robin is a frequent speaker at both local Seedy Saturdays and at farming and food policy conferences across Canada.

How to Fight Climate Change with Your Garden
Richard Hebda
10:30 – Sidney Room

Join Richard to hear about the characteristics, scale, and impacts of climate change in our area. Learn how you can design and manage your garden both to help in the fight against climate change and to reduce and adapt to its impacts on your garden, community, and region.

Dr. Richard Hebda is Curator Emeritus (Botany and Earth History) at the Royal British Columbia Museum after 38 years of service, and adjunct faculty at the University of Victoria. He curated the Climate and Climate Change exhibit at the museum and was the first faculty coordinator of the Restoration of Natural Systems Program at University of Victoria. He studies vegetation and climate history of BC, climate change and its impacts, ecology and origins of alpine ecosystems and botany of grasses. Richard is (co)author of 130+ scientific papers and 250+ popular articles on native plants and climate change and (co) author/editor of several books and major reports, including several reports on climate change for NGOs.

Japanese Vegetables for the Victoria Home Gardener
Heather Ramsay
10:30 – Colwood Room

Japanese vegetables can thrive in our local climate. Learn which varieties to use, how to grow them (including small-space strategies!), and how to make simple and tasty meals out of your harvest. Japanese greens, turnips, and green onions, as well as daikon and kabocha squash, will be among the vegetables covered.

Heather began work as an apprentice at Umi Nami Farm in 2010, and now co-manages the farm along with the owner, Yoshiko Unno. Umi Nami Farm, located in Metchosin, has been serving the southern Island with Japanese vegetables for over twenty years.

Basics for Beginners: Growing Culinary Herbs
Lynda Dowling
10:30 – View Royal Room

Arugula… Basil… Cilantro… Or is it Coriander? Learn the A B C’s of growing your own herbs. Herbs for salsa, herbs for a Chef’s blend, herbs for tea. Just what is needed for your herb growing success?

Lynda Dowling has grown herbs since 1983 and was a pioneer in growing herbs and edible flowers for southern Vancouver Island chefs and use in home kitchens. Please join Lynda to begin – or continue – your herbal journey.

Where Have All the Insects Gone?
Linda Gilkeson
12 noon – Oak Bay Room

Global insect populations have crashed over the last couple of decades. Learn why this matters for our future food supply and for a healthy environment. Find out what factors may be causing the widespread declines, how to reduce the harm from some of these factors, and what to grow to provide food for beneficial insects.

With a Ph.D. in Entomology, Linda has had careers in a biological control company, the provincial government, and the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. She regularly instructs Master Gardener programs and teaches pest management and organic gardening workshops throughout the region. Linda’s best-selling garden book, Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, was republished in a new, expanded edition in 2018. She continues to self-publish books for local gardeners, including Resilient Gardens: Pollinator Gardens, Garlic Diseases, Pest Update; Year Around Harvest: Winter Gardening on the Coast; and West Coast Gardening: Natural Insect, Weed and Disease Control (2013), all of which will be available at Seedy Saturday.

A Plethora of Perfect Potatoes: Selecting New Spud Varieties for Your Garden
Fiona Hamersley Chambers
12 noon – Saanich 2 Room

Why plant ‘seed potatoes’ – chunks of tuber – when you can plant true potato seeds? Each tiny seed from the potato fruit is a potential new variety, so growing from seed makes it possible to produce and select unique potatoes suited to your garden. With some basic care and patience, as well as overwintering your first year tubers, you will quickly be on the road to potato success!

Fiona is an ethnobotanist, educator, and certified organic farmer who owns and operates Metchosin Farm, growing 280+ seed crops as well as creating new plant food varieties. Fiona teaches Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and is working on her PhD in Ethnobotany with Dr. Nancy Turner. She holds an MSc from Oxford University and a Masters in Environmental Design from the University of Calgary. Fiona believes that you ‘learn best by doing’ and that hands-on experiential learning is key to our shared successful future in our home place. This includes growing and selecting your own potato varieties!

Growing Flowers for Cutting & Arranging
Christin Geall
12 noon – Sidney Room

Join Christin Geall, author of Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style (Princeton Architectural Press, 2020) for the inspiring story behind her Victoria cutting garden and company, Cultivated. Learn what to plant when, where to find the flowers you need, and how to use your garden to create dynamic arrangements.

Christin Geall is a Canadian designer, writer, gardener, photographer, and author of the book Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style (Princeton Architectural Press, 2020). Trained in horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, she completed a BA in Environmental Studies & Anthropology and a MFA in nonfiction before becoming a gardening columnist for Gardenista, a professor, and designer. Through her company, Cultivated, she teaches floral design in the UK, US, and Canada. Her writing and floral work focuses on the intersection of nature, culture, and horticulture. Find her online @cultivatedbychristin.

Extraordinary Edibles for Year-Round Beauty & Resilience
Joshua Clae Wagler
12 noon – Colwood Room

Do you want a garden that’s both beautiful AND productive? Joshua will present a bounty of edible fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, and more that add colour, form, and function to the ornamental landscape. Learn how to incorporate these versatile trees, shrubs, and forbs -with their showy foliage, graceful flowers, and multi-season interest – into new and existing gardens.

Born into a family of farmers but growing up in the city, Joshua became fascinated by the intersection of cities, farms, and the wild. After earning his Urban Studies degree at the University of Calgary, he began travelling the world, studying the globalization and sustainability of cities. Witnessing the devastation of conventional agriculture and urbanization, Joshua sought practical solutions, which led him to regenerative agriculture, urban farming, food forestry, and permaculture design. In 2013, he co-founded Edible Landscapes Design, Ltd, with a mission to create a beautiful future bursting with superfoods, and leave a legacy of edible excellence.

Basics for Beginners: How to Plant a Tree
Ryan Senechal
12 noon – View Royal Room

Trees are remarkably resilient when given proper planting and care during establishment, but common mistakes made during planting can cause disappointment and, in some cases, damage to property. Ryan will show you how to give your new tree(s) a good start for a healthy, safe, and long life.

Ryan Senechal is an Arborist and Urban Forester with the City of Victoria, and has an extensive background as an industry and community educator. Ryan contributes as an industry subject matter expert to the International Society of Arboriculture, the Industry Training Authority of BC, Horticulture Education of BC, and to industry regulators.

Introduction to Growing Cannabis at Home
Jo Wyld
1:30 – Oak Bay Room

OK, it’s legal. Now what? This introduction will include an overview of cannabis types, plant physiology, and what constitutes a healthy cannabis crop. You’ll be introduced to some growing, pruning, and training methods. How to tell if it’s ready and what to do with it will round out this talk.

Jo Wyld is a red seal horticulturist in Victoria. She has owned her own gardening business for 15 years and is a former head gardener for Abkhazi Garden. Jo is also an instructor at the Horticulture Center of the Pacific in the apprenticeship program and presents community education workshops on topics such as cannabis growing and processing.

Soil Amendments and Fertilizers: What and When
Christina Nikolic
1:30 – Saanich 2 Room

Slow food or fast food, we focus on feeding the soil that feeds our plants. With a wide range of products to choose from, which amendments and fertilizers are the best, and when should they be applied? Christina will give an overview of what options are available, both for sale and free; she will help pick the right ones for your needs; and will advise on the timing of using them. With climate change in mind, Christina will also touch on how to support the soil’s ability to store carbon.

Christina’s background is landscape architecture and, over the years, she’s designed many residential Victoria gardens. These days she runs her own business, The Organic Gardener’s Pantry, selling organic fertilizers and soil amendments across Canada. She is a senior instructor at Gaia College, teaching organic horticulture, and has been a long-time board member of SOUL (Society for Organic Urban Land Care). In her spare time Christina can be found in the garden.

Invasive Plants in Your Garden and How to Conquer Them
Paige Erickson-McGee
1:30 – Sidney Room

Bothered by blackberry, bindweed, and ivy? Join Paige, Stewardship Coordinator for Habitat Acquisition Trust, as she talks about how to support nature in our backyards with native plants, and how to get rid of invasive species in your yard once and for all with some easy-to-do techniques.

Paige grew up on Shawnigan Lake exploring nature with her dogs, and has been enthralled by the natural world from a young age. After studying geography and botany at UVic and working with HAT, Paige is now the Pollinator Steward for the Haliburton Farm Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project and is co-chair of the Native Plant Study Group.

Grow Ordinary Food in Extraordinary Ways
Donna Balzer
1:30 – Colwood Room

Anyone can grow a potato or a strawberry plant but can you grow them under trees, in a straw bale, or on a fence? Join story-telling gardener Donna Balzer as she reveals fun growing secrets to make use all the nooks and crannies in your condo, balcony, or large scale garden this summer. Why grow like everyone else? This talk will help you reach new goals in your garden regardless of its size this season.

Horticulturist, speaker, and author, Donna has a degree in Agriculture. She hosted the internationally broadcast Bugs & Blooms on HGTV for three seasons and appears regularly on CBC radio in Canada. Donna’s book No Guff Vegetable Gardening is a Canadian best seller and her newest book The Three Year Gardener’s Gratitude Journal helps gardeners grow by keeping track of their own garden.

Basics for Beginners: Starting with the Seed
Linda Petite
1:30 – View Royal Room

How do you get all those Seedy Saturday seeds to turn into strong, healthy seedlings? In this small-group workshop, Linda will provide the basic information you need to start seeds successfully indoors and get them ready for life in the great outdoors.

Linda is Head Gardener at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, where she has worked since 2013. She has worked in horticulture for over 30 years, and is a graduate of the Plant Science Technician program at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

The Ornamental Apothecary
Melissa Baron
2:45 – Sidney Room

Growing your own medicinal and health-giving plants is an empowering, enriching, and fun skill to have. Many of our ornamental plants are multi-purpose, doing a lot more in our gardens than just looking pretty. Melissa will share some of her favourite plant allies and ways you can incorporate them into your life. Whether you have an acreage or an apartment balcony, you’ll find there’s an abundance of plant options you can grow to enhance your health and vitality.

Melissa has been a landscape designer in Victoria BC for 14 years. She completed a Masters in Landscape Architecture and a Bachelor’s of Environmental Science from the University of Guelph. However, it wasn’t until she studied Permaculture Design and Herbal Medicine that Melissa found her true passion: connecting people with the healing power of plants. Whether it’s incorporating medicinal and edible plants into her designs, or teaching ways to deepen our relationship with gardening and plants, Melissa cherishes her work. In addition to her design and education work, Melissa is an herbalist, and can often be found concocting tinctures, salves, teas, and other healing potions.

Grow Your Own Pizza Ingredients
Katie Underwood
2:45 – Colwood Room

Katie encourages participants to host their own home-grown pizza party featuring the classic ingredients of tomato, garlic, and basil. Find out how to grow all three in our climate, including variety selection, succession planting and timing, as well as the benefits of starting from seed.

Katie grows mixed vegetables at Elemental Farm, a part of Haliburton Community Organic Farm in Saanich, and at her home in Victoria. She is an active member of the Haliburton Board of Directors, involved with Victoria’s Urban Food Table and the Good Food Leadership Group, and enjoys volunteering on projects that promote urban growing, farmers’ access to farmland, and restoration.

Basics for Beginners: Composting for Gardeners
Kayla Siefried
2:45 – View Royal Room

In this fast-paced workshop you’ll learn the recipe for creating an amendment for your garden that is rich in beneficial microorganisms and nutrients! We’ll cover the 6 factors for composting success, outline a few different composting options, and even touch on how to keep your pile pest free.

Kayla Siefried is the Site Manager and Community Education Coordinator at the Compost Education Centre, where she practices organic gardening and permaculture in the demonstration gardens and in her own urban backyard. She’s gathered knowledge from a variety of wise teachers after living and working on numerous permaculture-inspired food-growing farms in Canada, Australia, Ecuador, and Cambodia. She’s completed various permaculture and gardening trainings, after she completed her formal education at the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies. Kayla has also spent time facilitating a wide variety of learning opportunities for learners of all ages, from preschoolers all the way up to older folks.