Stories shared to spread seed secrets

Residents can learn all about saving seeds and their heritage in an upcoming workshop

  • Nov. 15, 2011 5:00 a.m.
Greg Roberts harvests some old sunflower seeds in the Ladysmith Community Garden.

Greg Roberts harvests some old sunflower seeds in the Ladysmith Community Garden.

Christopher Sun

The Chronicle

If you have ever had problems trying to grow a vegetable garden, check to see where the seeds are from.

The Ladysmith Community Garden and Cowichan Green Community are holding a workshop called Seed Stories: A history and how-to on seed saving in the Cowichan Valley. The event will introduce people to the history of local seed production, explain what heritage varieties of fruits and vegetables are and explain why locally grown products can have more flavours and textures than a similar one grown elsewhere. People will also learn how to save their own seeds and why it’s important.

“It’s built around food security,” said Greg Roberts, Ladysmith Community Gardens president, about the workshop. “To make sure we are not held ransom to huge corporate interests.”

Most seed producers are centralized, multi-national, large corporations that sell seeds grown in climates different to here. However, seeds are conditioned to where they are grown, which can be problematic when it is planted in a different climate.

“If the seeds are grown here, they will adapt year to year,” said Cowichan Green Community’s Vanessa Goodall. “Seeds grown here will be more resistant to extra precipitation as opposed to seeds grown in California where there, it’s drought conditions.

Goodall said there were a number of large seed companies in the Cowichan Valley prior to the Second World War, which supplied seeds throughout Canada, United States and United Kingdom.

“There was a change,” Goodall explained. “The importation of cheaper seeds and agriculture commodities undercut the local economy.”

Now, with genetic engineering and changes to food production, there has also been a narrowing of the types of food people eat, she added, quoting a United Nations study that found there has been a 75 per cent loss in food diversity.

The workshop will be held Nov. 22 at the Boys and Girls Club at 220 High Street from 7-8:30 p.m. Call 250-748-8506 for more information.

Just Posted

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley was passed up for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan. (Photo submitted)
Op-Ed: Modernizing forestry and prioritizing reconciliation

Doug Routley writes on Fairy Creek and Central Walbran Valley old growth deferrals

The log retaining wall that supports the access road to the Ladysmith Community Marina is failing and needs to be replaced. (Cole Schisler photo)
Remediation work for community marina access road expected to be costly

A log retaining wall between the access road and the parking area is failing and must be replaced

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read