Friday, November 26, 2010

If you are interested in having me to your community garden to do a seed saving workshop, please email me at:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Find updated information

To find updated information on seed saving, urban agriculture and events visit

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Toronto Seedy Exchange Area

Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers who made this event possible . . . . Here are some photos from the successful event. We made over $300 in donations which means that over 2000 packets of seeds were taken for donation, and I would estimate that at least 2000 other packages . . . . .

Photos From Seedy Saturday Toronto

Wow. Take a look at how many people were in the room at this time . . . . . . What an amazing turn-out. The whole day was fabulous. Lots of people coming out to buy seeds and get inspired by Spring . . .

Here is a photo of my little urbantomato booth lost in the land of seed buyers . . .

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Seedy Saturday

This years event was a HUGE success. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the new Wychwood Barns location was full of natural light, and packed with people wanting to welcome in Spring by buying seeds and planning their gardens! By half way through the day there had already been 1000 people come through one of the four entrances!
Thanks to everyone at the Stop, Foodshare, and TCGN who worked really hard to make this event so great. Also thanks to the amazing volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the day. The Seed Exchange Area was amazing. There must have been at least 2000 packets trading hands throughout the day. The room was packed at all times, and an ever-changing and diverse selection of seeds covered the tables.
Pictures to follow soon . . . . . . I am now officially inspired by Spring, and amazed and impressed by peoples interest in seeds.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

What to Bring to the Seed Exchange Area

It is a sure sign of spring, planning is well underway for:

Toronto's Seedy Saturday 2009
Saturday February 28, 2009
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Artscape Wychwood Barns – Covered Street (Barn #2)
601 Christie Street

Seed Saving Booklet

After a computer crashing nightmare, I have created an updated version of the seed saving manual. Please feel free to send me any comments of suggestions, or questions . . . click on images to see larger versions.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

more potato photos - a little blurry - sorry!

I was cutting up these beautiful potatoes that were taken from my garden this summer. They are gorgeous from the outside, but when you cut them open, a whole other world of beauty appears

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

november hot pepper harvest

here are some hot peppers i harvested this week. i brought my plants indoors when it got cold
they have sitting on my radiator in a bright window
and continue to ripen, flower and fruit . . . plant pictures to come . . . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Seed Saving Workshop Map

**click to enlarge**

Here is a map of all the places I have been lucky enough to visit over the fall. I provided hands-on seed saving workshops with all of the gardens, and educational booths at each of the farmers markets. I met many lovely folks from across the city who were willing to share their knowledge and experiences saving seed, and many eager gardeners who were eager to learn the techniques.
For more information about the garden and market visits, keep reading. to learn about the specific groups, check out the link lists to the right.

Monday, November 17, 2008

High Park Seed Collection

Yesterday, Nov. 16th, I had the honour of meeting with the High Park Volunteer Stewardship Program. These lovely folks invited me to participate in one of their seed collection events that take place periodically throughout the year. I was shown around the area by some extremely knowledgeable Toronto Parks staff who pointed out the bounty of plants that flourish in their nursery, 'swamp', and grassland areas throughout the year.

We collected some cup plant, bergamont, butterfly milkweed seeds and surveyed many of the native grasses that were still looking lovely! Thanks very much for showing me around folks!!
Afterwards, I attended a lively potluck full of at least 40 volunteers who had spent the morning battling against buckthorn and collecting seeds.Despite reports of blustering snow, the sun was shining, and so were the faces of the participants. The potluck was full of diverse and delectable food that even included heirloom veggie hors d'ouvers made with shaved purple carrots stuffed with cherry tomatoes. Delicious.
this fabulous group is full of enthusiastic volunteers, but is always looking for more. over the winter they will be holding some educational events, as well as a seed cleaning event. This group does fabulous work promoting, preserving, providing and educating people native plants and their importance in the city and beyond . . . for more information or to participate: check out - i will post the link on the side of the blog as well

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dagmar's Potato Listing- As mentioned in Edible Toronto

The following is a table created by dagmar baur. It represents a cross-section of many of the potato varieties that are being grown and preserved throughout ontario. The table provides excellent information on the appearance, source, possible usages, and traits of each variety

*** Please click on tables to enlarge ***

Thursday, October 30, 2008

heirloom potatoes

**photo by Julian Hasford**
i have been bitten by the potato bug . . . looks like i may have found another addiction in the world of seed saving. Garrett Pittinger offered me some potato growing advice that i will share with you:
(a) each variety will respond to soil conditions differently. experiment to find potatoes that grow well in your garden!
(b) the soil should not be too acidic. he rotates gardens with his corn crop. one year a garden has new manure and corn is planted, the next year the potatoes grow in the aged manure.
(c) your root cellar should be dark (too much exposure to light will turn the potatoes green), and within the temperature range of 4 to 6 degrees Celsius. if the temperature drops below 4 degrees, water will expand in the potato, turning the starch into sugar. the potatoes will caramelize when cooked. too warm and the potatoes will start to sprout.
the blue potatoes are great for baking

the following is some of the potato varieties that he is growing:
ailes roses, bauer grun's rotes auge (oblong yellow potatoes with lovely pink eyes), bc blue, belgium, bintje (yellow-great for roasting), buckskin, carola, congo (the darkest of all the blue potatoes, great keeper), corne de mouton (unique hazlenut taste), crotte d'ours, digby heavener's peruvian, early rose (pink-skinned and white inside), elmer's blue, epicure, ernest cameron's, french fingerling (oblong red), grote aardapple, irish cobbler (an endangered variety), kifli krumpli fingerling, la veine rose, matsuyama, mrs. moehrle's yellow fleshed, norland, papas negras, princess c, pugh's purple, red bintje (dutch variety with red skin and yellow flesh), red dutch, rode eersteling, siberian (keep there shape in soup), six weeks, and stueben.

**Thanks to Julian Hasford for the use of his lovely photos.
** The potatoes pictured above were displayed at the Toronto Urban Farm Festival. All varieties were donated to Solomon Boye, by Garrett Pittinger. They were grown, harvested and enjoyed by the dedicated folks at the Toronto Urban Farm.

*for more information on these potatoes and others like them, look for dagmar baur's upcoming article in Edible Toronto.

"after i had been doing this for awhile, the potatoes just seemed to find me" Garrett Pittinger

**photo Julian Hasford**
i had the privilege of meeting garrett pittenger. for a seed nerd like me, this is a big deal. he is a founding and integral seeds of diversity member. he lives on a beautiful piece of property and grows over thirty types of heirloom potatoes with great dedication. i was lucky enough to visit him, get a tour of his property, and talk seed saving (and life) over tea.
when we entered his root cellar, we were greeted by highly organized boxes of potatoes, everywhere. different types ranging in colour from yellow, to pink, to blue and in every size imaginable were all gorgeous and chilling at a temperature of 42 degrees Fahrenheit.
each box was labelled with a stake, but garrett hardly needed them. you could tell he was intimately familiar with each potato. he identified each variety, while sharing stories of their colouring, history, taste, where he originally obtained them.
we soaked up the information and knowledge garrett was kindly sharing with us. he has been doing this for over forty years, and as he described so eloquently:
"after i had been doing this for awhile, the potatoes just seemed to find me".
smart potatoes, if i was a rare heirloom variety of a potato, i would certainly want to be in garrett's custody . ..

*this trip wouldn't have been possible without the organization of dagmar baur (another dedicated SoDC member), and barb (an avid and interested gardener who was nice enough to drive us!)

**sadly my camera was malfunctioning that day, so i don't have pictures of the experience. i have included some of the pics from the Toronto Urban Farm Festival, where gardeners were reaping the harvest of some of Garrett's potatoes. Thanks to Julian Hasford for use of his pictures.

from fruit to pulp to seed . . .

here are some of my last tomatoes beginning their fall transformation to seed . . . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oriole Peanut Community Garden: Seed Saving Workshop

I was recently sent these pictures by Emma a kind workshop participant and oriole peanut garden worker.