By Sarah Blackwell
In February I attended the Seedy Saturday event and Eco-fair in North Bay. Seedy Sunday and Seedy Saturday are public events held throughout Canada most often held at the end of winter. It is a grassroots event organized for the public and Wikipedia reports that in 2012 there were 100 events throughout Canada. I am reminded that long ago, our ancestors most likely would gather in such a way to share stories and ideas related to food, wild foraging, hunting and surviving. This event was an example of how a community can come together to benefit each other in growing food, which in turn addresses the problem of food insecurity. Traditionally, the Anishinaabe people would plant a garden and have enough food for each family. They would plant corn, pumpkin and squash and then harvest the food in late summer. If families were to do this now and share stories and learn from each other’s successes and failures, food insecurity may not be an issue for First Nations children and families.
The heart of the Seedy Saturday event is the Seed exchange program, where everyone can sit and learn about the heirloom seeds, share stories, share successes and failures with local gardeners and farmers and exchange seeds with each other. As a gardener, you learn the history of the seed before you plant it in your garden. Once again, this reminds me of how our Anshinaabe ancestors would get together in the spring to socialize, tell stories and celebrate. The North Bay event also included an eco-fair with local vendors selling honey bee products, herbs, Chaga Mushroom tea, herbal teas, locally raised meat and chicken and also a kid’s area with crafts. The event is organized for families and communities to share, grow and learn from each other. Guest speakers covered topics like dealing with garden pests, and herbal medicines. I highly recommend you attend the Seedy Saturday event in your local community the next opportunity you get. For more information you can visit Seeds of Diversity website at www.seeds.ca Sarah Blackwell, M.H.S., B.A. (CYC), Aundeck Omni Kaning, is a Parent & Child Consultant living in North Bay. See http://www.sarahblackwell.ca and http://tinyurl.com/SarahonFacebook.