April 4, 2024

GreenUP staff Laura Keresztesi and Hayley Goodchild pose at the GreenUP booth at Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square, which saw over 1,500 participants. GreenUP's Lili Paradi spoke to five vendors, participants, and non-profit groups about their experience at Seedy Sunday. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

GreenUP staff Laura Keresztesi and Hayley Goodchild pose at the GreenUP booth at Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square, which saw over 1,500 participants. GreenUP’s Lili Paradi spoke to five vendors, participants, and non-profit groups about their experience at Seedy Sunday. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

By: Lili Paradi, GreenUP

In the face of a changing climate and environment, planting seeds of change through community-led solutions is a hopeful action.

Seedy Sunday is a meeting point for individuals looking to grow their own food, flowers and herbs, and take care of the environment too. It is in part, spring festival, in part, skills workshop, and largely, a networking event.

“The event showcases seed farmers who are offering their locally grown, heirloom seeds that are adapted to growing in our specific growing conditions in the region. This event allows gardeners, community groups and businesses to support local seed farmers and have greater success in their gardens,” says Jill Bishop, organizer of Seedy Sunday.

Jillian Bishop (left), organizer of Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square, speaks to an interested participant about Urban Tomato, Bishop’s seed business. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

Jillian Bishop (left), organizer of Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square, speaks to an interested participant about Urban Tomato, Bishop’s seed business. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

Peterborough’s 16th in-person Seedy Sunday event at the Peterborough Square Mall saw over 1,500 participants.

I spoke to five vendors, participants and non-profit groups about their experience at Seedy Sunday and they shared with me about their involvement with Seedy Sunday. Ultimately, I learned that through planting seeds, Seedy Sunday helps our community remain resilient amidst challenging changes to our environment.

Lauren MacLauchlan

Participant

“What brought you here today?”

LM: I love seeds, because there’s something very empowering about them. Growing food, saving seeds, and growing your own garden is such a tangible action you can take for the environment at a community level. The act of growing plants brings people together, and connects people back to the land. Not only that, but an event like this helps people support their local growers. Seedy Sunday is a community event that happens once a year, but really, I think it resonates throughout the whole year.

Nico Koyanagi

BIPOC Growing Collective, community group

At Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square, BIPOC Growing Collective invited interested individuals to join their garden network while reconnecting people to culture and locally grown food. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

At Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square, BIPOC Growing Collective invited interested individuals to join their garden network while reconnecting people to culture and locally grown food. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

“What brings BIPOC Growing Collective to Seedy Sunday?”

NK: We are here to make sure that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) people in the community have a space to garden and connect or reconnect with the lands and foods that are important to them. Historically, people of these groups have been pushed off the land.

“How have you seen that (re)connection happening with the Collective?”

NK: Many folks come with different techniques they’ve learned from their parents and grandparents. In our communal garden, it is exciting to grow food that is culturally significant, and food that you can’t get at the grocery store.

“How is your work connected to environmental work?”

NK: The more we connect gardening to Indigenous Ways of Knowing whether local or brought here through diaspora, the better we can understand our relationship with the environment. Growing becomes about asking, “What are our responsibilities to each other, and to the earth?” and “How can we change the way that we relate to each other so that [growing] is rooted in respect and reciprocity?”

Callie Downer

Our Little Wormery, vendor

Our Little Wormery at Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square. The local start-up sells vermicomposting kits. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

Our Little Wormery at Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square. The local start-up sells vermicomposting kits. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

“So, you are selling 300 worms in each container, which people can take home to use in at-home vermicomposting systems. How is this related to helping individuals mitigate and adapt to a changing climate?”

CD: [Vermicomposting], composting using the power of worms, is an act that is so simple that all ages can do. It makes a big impact on the home and on educational opportunities with children and students. The opportunity to create compost using this method is one small way we can take responsibility for our impact on the climate.

It is something that people will stick to when they know the impact it will have on their compost and on the planet. It’s a science experiment to create a circular system at home.

Sammy Tangir

Bendy Farms, vendor

“What brings you to Seedy Sunday?”

ST: I started a willow coppice – which is a fancy way to say that I grow and cut willow trees so they grow even more the next year. The willows can then be used for weaving projects, building projects and more! They’re living, budding branches.

“Are there hidden values of growing a willow coppice, in your opinion, other than for crafting?”

ST: When I grow my willow in a big hay field, there are so many more birds, insects, and animals around. It’s important to have powerful plants like willow that are perennials that are in the soil, establishing roots, holding carbon, and having a greater ecological impact than our traditional veggie crops. I recommend that people grow plants that will remain for a long time and keep their eyes out for the many different types of willows out in nature!

Alissa Paxton

Kawartha Land Trust, land conservation charity

Kawartha Land Trust gave away seeds from native tallgrass prairie, collected at their Ballyduff Trails property, At Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square. Kawartha Land Trust landowner outreach officer Jeff Park said the land conservation charity “experienced a warm welcome from people who are new to us and those who are familiar with the walking trails on our protected properties.” (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

Kawartha Land Trust gave away seeds from native tallgrass prairie, collected at their Ballyduff Trails property, At Seedy Sunday on March 10, 2024 at Peterborough Square. Kawartha Land Trust landowner outreach officer Jeff Park said the land conservation charity “experienced a warm welcome from people who are new to us and those who are familiar with the walking trails on our protected properties.” (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

“What do you want to see happen at Seedy Sunday, or more specifically, what do you want to see for the next three generations of Seedy-Sunday goers?”

AP: We’re here to promote our organization, public access trails, and ways people can protect the natural and working lands of the Kawarthas. We’ve brought seeds from the native tallgrass prairie at our Ballyduff Trails property.

The prairie is an example of one of Ontario’s most threatened ecosystems. We’re sharing some seeds from native tallgrass species as well as native wildflowers. We’d love to see more native species being grown around the region. We’d also love to see more people enjoying the land they love and thinking about ways they can protect it for future generations.

Seedy Sunday is an annual event that individuals look forward to every spring. For more information about growing native plants yourself, join GreenUP at Ecology Park’s Annual Opening Plant Sale & Celebration on May 18th from 10am-4pm. Email info@greenup.on.ca for more details.

A seed exchange is a highlight of Seedy Sunday events in Peterborough. Participants share, trade, and swap ideas around seeds and seed saving. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

A seed exchange is a highlight of Seedy Sunday events in Peterborough. Participants share, trade, and swap ideas around seeds and seed saving. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)