Vancouver Island Master Gardeners have been involved in Qualicum Beach Seedy Saturday since its beginning ten years ago.
This popular Qualicum Beach event was started by avid seed savers and prairie gardeners Joy and Keith Smith, with pioneer VIMGA members Kim Hammond, Sally Shivers, and Linda Rehlinger.
Joy Smith learned about the Seeds of Diversity Heritage Seed Program while listening to Peter Gzowski on CBC radio. At that time, she was gardening on acreage near Brandon, Manitoba and decided to focus on growing beans and saving their seed. Using her own beans and herbs, she developed soup mixes, and sold them at prairie craft fairs as she continued to do after her move to B.C. She became a vendor at the VanDusen Botanical Garden Seedy Saturday and, when asked to make a presentation about saving bean seeds, she realized that gardeners in Qualicum Beach could benefit from this kind of event. Kim, Sally and Linda were all VanDusen trained Master Gardeners recently moved to the island.
They had to choose the first Saturday in February as all other Spring Saturdays were already booked. Attendance the first year was 900 people; attendance this year was 2500. At first the event used the main hall at the Civic Centre with one meeting room for lectures. The event now uses the entire building with vendors outside as well. The local farmers have a farmers market selling winter vegetables. The organizers donate funds to many community groups including the Community Garden.
The event is supported by a huge number of volunteers, many of whom have volunteered since the beginning.
Almost always the first clinic of the season in the Parksville-Qualicum area of VIMGA’s far flung territory, VIMGA MGs have a lively table as well as helping in other ways at this highly popular event. This year one of Kim Hammond's wonderful quilts was up for raffle.
Another true friend of BC Master Gardeners, Linda Gilkeson, is often a treasured speaker.
Enjoy these photos and find more at
QBseedy's photo album: QBSS 2012
Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, 747 Jones Street, Qualicum Beach, BC, Canada -
Feb 4, 2012
QBSS 2012 involved 70 vendors and about 2500 patrons. The organizing committee had 10 members. There were 80 volunteers working at the event. Total sales for the day were $30,000. The top 10 selling vendors were all SEED vendors and their most popular items were vegetable seeds.
Message from QBseedy:
Here are some photos taken at QBSS 2012 by Jim Mick, one of our volunteers. Sorry I wasn't there to share your enjoyment. Invitations for QBSS 2013 will likely be sent out in early October.
Thank you for your support of our event!
Craig Young (Craig is the organizer of this event.)
Vancouver Island Master Gardeners keen to answer questions.
Linda Gilkeson was both a speaker and a vendor of her well known books, including her bible for local vegetable growers, Backyard Bounty.
MG Kim Hammond's quilt was both beautiful and extremely seedy.