Seeds of Diversity
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April 2016

Thank you, volunteers!

It is hard to imagine what Seeds of Diversity would be like without hundreds of volunteers across Canada saving seeds, organizing Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays, planting habitat for pollinators, and teaching the basic skills of seed saving to gardeners. Here's a big thank you to everyone who makes seed and pollinator conservation possible!

Thanks to you, gardeners across the country have enjoyed more than 140 Seedy Saturdays and Seedy Sundays this year (and counting!), seed libraries and pollinator gardens have sprouted in more communities than we can count, and over 3000 varieties of heritage seeds have been saved, shared, and preserved for future gardeners.

Seeds of Diversity is a volunteer and member driven organization. We count on you to share your seed knowledge at presentations and workshops, rescue precious heritage varieties by saving seeds in your garden, and inspire your friends and neighbours.

Thank you volunteers, for all the time and energy you dedicate to your seeds and to Seeds of Diversity – we couldn't do it without you!


Why not plant a row?

Every year I receive numerous frantic phone calls from local greenhouses and well-meaning individuals who have flats of surplus veggie transplants and no more room in which to plant them. Like a horticultural goodwill fairy, I load up my decrepit van and deliver some to my local community garden and some to those friends, neighbours and family members who are still on speaking terms with me, largely because I didn’t fob off plants on them the year before. I even sneak out at night (dressed in black, of course) to do a spot of guerrilla gardening by planting tomatoes, peppers and zucchini in unlikely places like office and bank parking lots, in front of city hall, and in various church courtyards.


How to Plan for Population Sizes in Seed Saving

Whenever you plan to grow out a plant variety for seed, you should think about the number of plants you should grow to get a good result. That means more than just harvesting enough seeds; it means properly preserving the genetics of the variety by saving seeds from several plants.

We often tend to think that plants are alike if they look alike, but actually they can be quite different in ways we just don't notice. Think about a row of lettuce for instance. If the leaves on all the plants are the same shape and colour, and if the heads are all about the same shape and size, and if they all taste the same, then you'd think all those lettuce plants are genetically alike. You'd think you could just take seeds from one plant, and you'd preserve all the characteristics of that variety.

Unfortunately, no.


Roguing and Selection for Lettuce Seed Crops

Roguing is science and selection is art. If you’ve been keeping up with the e-bulletin lately you may have noticed we’ve been talking a lot about the importance of maintaining or improving a seed stock. This is done by removing off-types, diseased and slow growing plants (roguing), and choosing the top producing, most prolific, true to type plants and fruits to harvest seed from (selection). Different crops require this practice to be carried out at different times during the growing season and different varieties each have their own list of attributes and characteristics to select for.


Pollination Guelph Attracts Expert Speakers and Bees

Pollination Guelph is a group of individuals dedicated to the conservation and development of pollinator habitat for current and future generations. They promote awareness and understanding of the role of pollinators in achieving local and global environmental sustainability. Pollination Guelph showcases pollinator projects that are a model for citizens and communities throughout Canada and internationally. Pollination Guelph accomplishes all their endeavours with no paid staff, relying on the work of dedicated volunteers.


In this issue

Why not plant a row?

How to Plan for Population Sizes in Seed Saving

Roguing and Selection for Lettuce Seed Crops

Pollination Guelph Attracts Expert Speakers and Bees

Not yet a member?

An annual membership to Seeds of Diversity gives you access to our seed exchange, seed grow-out programs, and our online news.


Sunday May 1, 2016
Central Toronto, ON

Saturday May 7, 2016
Langley, BC
Orillia, ON

Saturday May 14, 2016
Hanna, AB

Sunday May 29, 2016
Meaford, ON

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