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Speakers – Victoria Seedy Saturday 2019

Saturday February 16, 10 am – 4 pm. All talks included with your $8 admission.

Using Less Water in the Garden
Egan Davis
10:30 am – Oak Bay Room

Have you ever wondered why gardens seem to need irrigation but plants in the wild survive on their own without sprinklers and hoses? Not only does watering the garden use resources and take time, it actually creates more work for gardeners. Egan will explain how plants can survive with little to no water and provide tips for gardeners to reduce water use.

Egan is a leader in the professional horticulture industry, a qualified Red Seal Horticulturist from Vancouver, BC. He is currently the principal instructor for the Horticulture Training Program at University of British Columbia Botanical Garden. Along with his past experience at VanDusen Botanical Garden, Park & Tilford Gardens, and the Mendel Floral conservatory in Saskatoon, for his entire career Egan has also run a residential garden consultation, design, and build company. He is a highly sought-after speaker at garden clubs, professional seminars, and on the radio.

Local Seed and Why It Matters
Martin Settle
10:30 am – Saanich 2 Room

Why should you care about locally produced seeds? Martin Settle, Executive Director of USC Canada, will explain why saving and planting local seed is so important for backyard gardeners, farmers, and consumers. Using examples from our own local BC seed trials and other programs, Martin will cover the benefits of seed saving and explain how to gather, clean, process, and store different types of seeds. Examples from USC Canada’s work with seed saving farmers around the world will place the importance of seed conservation and biodiversity in a global context.

Martin joined USC Canada in 2009, first as Treasurer on the Board of Directors, and then on staff in 2013. Passionate about social and economic justice, Martin has two decades of experience in social justice work particularly related to faith communities, food sovereignty, and social housing in three provinces – Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario – and in England, where he helped establish a locally sourced school meal program. Martin became Executive Director of USC Canada in 2016, sharing the title with Jane Rabinowicz as a leadership team.

Heritage Apples and Why You Should Grow Them
Barrie Agar
10:30 am – Sidney Room

Venerable apple trees can still be found in many Victoria back gardens, a legacy from past residents. Barrie will give an overview of some of the still popular heritage varieties, explain why they have stood the test of time and taste, and tell you what you need to know to plant and care for a heritage apple yourself.

Barrie started her horticultural career in Ireland on an old estate, and worked in several specialty nurseries upon her return to Canada. She is now the Head Gardener at Royal Roads and, among other projects, is restoring its historic orchard.

How to Create a Butterfly Garden
Lindsay Coulter
10:30 am – Colwood Room

Anyone can provide essential habitat for butterflies. Whether you have a small yard, pots on the patio, or a few acres, you can transform your space into a butterfly garden! Many butterfly species we see in Canada don’t migrate. Does your space have what non-migrating species need for all the stages of their lifecycle – eggs, larvae, pupae, AND adults – throughout the year? Learn about the importance of nectar and host plants, fall leaves, sun, and even mud.

Lindsay Coulter joined the David Suzuki Foundation over a decade ago, with a Zoology degree and a passion for nature. As David Suzuki’s Queen of Green she leads and inspires others to claim leadership and face reality during this insane time. She’s Canada’s green living expert for more than a decade, as well as an environmental leader and coach, community organizer, facilitator, media spokesperson (radio, TV, print, online), social media maven, courageous conversation starter, and naturalist.

Gardening in Containers Workshop
Michael Cowan
10:30 am – View Royal 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.

Growing Great Greens in the Shoulder Seasons
Robin Tunnicliffe
12 noon – Oak Bay Room

Learn a professional farmer’s tips and tricks for producing abundant greens, even in late fall and early spring, when luscious salad ingredients can be scarce (and expensive to buy). Robin will discuss her favourite varieties, planting dates, soil preparation, and more. Come be inspired by what it is possible to grow in the cooler seasons.

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.

Keeping Plastic Out of Your Garden
Marika Smith
12 noon – Saanich 2 Room

We all know the ocean has a plastic problem. But there’s growing concern that microplastics are also contaminating our soil. How did the plastics get there and what can we do to ensure we don’t introduce them into our own gardens? Marika will look at some of the ways microplastics can enter our garden soils, address the confusion surrounding terms such as compostable and biodegradable ‘green’ garden products, and discuss how food can be grown safely by following best practices for creating healthy soil and gardens.

Marika was Executive Director of the Victoria Compost Education Centre for ten years before transitioning into sustainable waste management research and policy for local government. She is a soil ecologist and holds an MSc. in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University with a research focus on soil toxicology and the effects of microplastics contamination in soil ecosystems.

Growing Native Food Plants
Kristen Miskelly
12 noon – Sidney Room

Native edible plants can provide tasty food while helping to maintain local biodiversity. Join Kristen Miskelly of Saanich Native Plants to learn more about edible species you can grow in an urban garden, hedgerow, or even on a balcony. This talk will provide a dialogue around how settlers can respectfully grow and use Indigenous food plants.

Kristen Miskelly is a biologist who specializes in the restoration and botany of southeastern Vancouver Island and is passionate about ecology, conservation, and native plant propagation. Kristen co-operates a native plant nursery and consulting business in Saanich, Saanich Native Plants, that she hopes will assist others in conserving and enhancing natural habitat.

Introduction to Gourmet Mushroom Cultivation
Jacob Cooper
12 noon – Colwood Room

What can you grow even if you don’t have land (or any more room on your plot)? Mushrooms! Jacob will provide a brief introduction to the fascinating world of fungus and a more comprehensive exploration of indoor mushroom cultivation. Beginners and experienced cultivators alike will find inspiration.

Jacob is a permaculture teacher and food security advocate, a partner in Salt Spring Sprouts and Mushrooms, and has been growing food full-time on BC’s West coast for the past 11 years. Jacob brings great passion and knowledge to his attempts to promote healthy relationships between people and place. This exploration finds its greatest expression at Feral Farm, a six-acre permaculture homestead which hosts Jacob, his family, Salt Spring Sprouts and Mushrooms, and an ever increasing diversity of trees, shrubs, herbs, birds, insects, microorganisms and, of course, fungi.

Starting with the Seed Workshop
Linda Petite
12 noon – 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.

Sailing Towards Seed Democracy
Harriet Friedmann
1:30 pm – Oak Bay Room

If seed savers are to be part of wider food system change, then we need to understand how deep change happens. The metaphor of sailing is useful for thinking about big changes such as seed laws and practices. Instead of railways or roads, which are already in place, seed politics must find its way to the distant shore of seed democracy by tacking with wind and waves, and by surviving storms and lack of wind. This talk takes a deep historical perspective to suggest how activists can choose wisely which directions to take, when to change direction, and how to adapt to changing conditions.

Harriet Friedmann is Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of Toronto. Her publications span several aspects of food and agriculture, notably as co-developer of the historical food regimes approach, and as contributor to debates on family farming. Her recent publications focus on implications for emergent food system governance of long histories of food system transformation across social/natural scales, as cities and capital have reorganized the biosphere and ethnosphere. Her current project is Global Political Ecology of Food. Since retiring she has been Visiting Scholar or Professor at Aix-Marseille University, Carleton University, Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, and CIRAD (Agronomic Research for Development) in Montpellier, France.

Hop Farming on Pender Island
Richard Piskor
1:30 pm – Saanich 2 Room

A chance meeting with Sean Hoyne, a love of Pender Island, lots of challenges, and a great community of friends and neighbours led to the creation of a small hop farm in a beautiful valley on Pender Island. This talk is an opportunity to share some of those experiences, and find out what’s involved in growing local hops for Victoria’s craft brewers.

Richard is a physicist, originally from Winnipeg, where the world is frozen for many months of the year, so working and living in Victoria was a great opportunity to enjoy everything the west coast had to offer – including some excellent craft beer! Having visited Pender Island for over 30 years, Richard decided it was the perfect place to build a home after retiring from the University of Victoria. And the perfect place to start a hop farm.

Tips for Ecological Gardening in Urban Environments
Matt Gravel
1:30 pm – Sidney Room

The evidence of a rapidly deteriorating natural world is all around us, but we can change this destructive cycle. We can work within the patterns of nature to preserve our own habitat, and reinvigorate the natural world around us. Matt will explore how to start taking a more ecological approach to gardening in urban settings and highlight techniques, species, and site assessment approaches to make the most of your urban lot.

Matt is a Victoria based permaculturist with a passion for living and sustainable systems. With 10 years property maintenance and conventional landscaping experience, he became tired of the unsustainable and non-regenerative practices in urban environments and wanted to find a way to change urban spaces. Now Matt operates a small nursery, design, and education business, Plant Buoy: Life Preservation Plants, and is using this as a platform to empower and teach people low maintenance, easy to manage systems that can grow nutrient dense food and medicine while working with the constraints of nature and regenerating urban landscapes.

Going Under Cover: Extend your Harvest
Donna Balzar
1:30 pm – Colwood Room

Stretching the growing season on Vancouver Island is easy. Donna will show us how warming the soil, sheltering plants from wind. and growing under glass can help you harvest fresh foods for longer and make it possible to grow a wider range of food. Donna’s even grown watermelons in her Qualicum Beach garden!

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.

Worm Composting Workshop
Kayla Siefried
1:30 pm – View Royal Room

This workshop will teach you all you need to know about vermicomposting; that is, composting with worms! A perfect way to compost indoors and in apartments, vermicomposting produces a plant grower’s dream compost, known for its richness in microbes, nutrients, enzymes, and more. Starting up, maintaining, and trouble-shooting a worm bin compost system will be covered.

Kayla Siefried is the Compost Education Centre’s Site Manager and Community Education Coordinator. A keen sustainability activist, Kayla Siefried finds meaning in advocating for and living an environmentally sustainable life that involves bicycles, all things soils, food, and gardening, and general awareness of the earth we live on.

Eat Your Weeds
Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed
2:45 pm – Sidney Room

Weeds are unwanted plants that pop up in our gardens. While typically viewed as pests, many weeds are sources of abundant and nutritious food. Latifa will discuss how to recognize some commonly encountered weeds, and how to turn them into delicious food.

Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed, based in the unceded Coast Salish Territory of Victoria, is a faculty member at Pacific Rim College of Holistic Medicine and Sustainable Living where she has introduced the first course on the nutritional value of wild plant foods. She holds a Master’s of Science in Herbal Medicine from London, UK and a Bachelor of Science in Botany from the University of Calgary. Latifa runs a sliding-scale herbal medicine practice at the Heart and Hands Health Collective and regularly presents workshops across Western Canada.

Berries for Buckets, Barrels, and Backyards
Joshua Clae Wagler
2:45 pm – Colwood Room

We are blessed with a bounty of berries, but few gardeners make the most of their powerful potential. Whether you have a tiny balcony or a big backyard, no matter what your microclimate offers (rain or shine, sun or shade), buckets of berries are waiting for you. Berries can enhance the health of you AND your garden, and are an important part of an edible ecosystem, no matter how small or large. Join us for this juicy talk and behold the beauty of berries!

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.