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Speakers – Victoria Seedy Saturday 2018

Saturday February 17, 10 am – 3:30 pm

Is there a talk that you MUST hear? Then please get yourself into the line up at the door in plenty of time (at least 15 minutes before the start). Rooms have a fixed capacity, strictly enforced by the fire marshal. Admission is on a first come, first served basis; when the room reaches capacity we must turn everyone else away. Thanks for your understanding.


Growing Fruit in Small Spaces

Barrie Agar

Oak Bay Room

Have a small garden or live in a townhouse? You can still enjoy fresh fruit picked from your own tree or plants. Barrie will cover the different methods for growing fruit that will fit into a compact garden space and be both ornamental and delicious.

Barrie started her horticultural career in a market garden in Ireland and did her initial training there. She has worked in a wide variety of nurseries and gardens and is currently Head Gardener of Hatley Park at Royal Roads University. She is a member of the BC Fruit Testers and is particularly interested in heritage apples.

Biological Insect Control at a Residential Level

Brian Spencer

Saanich 2 Room

Biological controls use the natural enemies of pests to keep them under control. Brian will discuss the commercially available biological controls that are effective and safe to use in home gardens and greenhouses, show how they should be applied, and explain how you can check their effectiveness.

Brian is the president and owner of Applied Bio-nomics Ltd., based in North Saanich, and now North America’s largest commercial insectary. He has a BSc in Microbiology from UBC. He has managed Applied Bio-nomics for 27 years and, prior to that, was a commercial wine maker with Peller Estates.

The Buzz on Bees

Lora Morandin

Sidney Room

Pollinators are essential for food production and natural ecosystems. Learn about native and managed pollinators, some of the issues they face, and common misconceptions. Lora will focus on native bees, their importance to food production, and what you can do to help them, whether you have a farm, urban property, or small patio garden.

Dr. Lora Morandin has been doing research on native bees and other beneficial insects for over 20 years, working at Western University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of California, Berkeley. She is an editor of the Journal of Pollination Ecology, and co-authored the book Farming with Native Beneficial Insects with the Xerces Society. She currently is a Senior Pollinator Specialist with Pollinator Partnership, an international organization dedicated to the preservation of pollinators and their ecosystems, and the founder the Island Pollinator Initiative, a coalition group working to protect pollinators on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
Pollinator Partnership:
Island Pollinator Initiative:

Cool Native Plants and Their Fungal Friends

Andy MacKinnon

Colwood Room

Explore the fruitful union of two of Andy’s favorite kingdoms: plants and fungi. Fungi have been associated with plants since the earliest plants colonized land, and are requisite partners of almost all of BC’s plants. This talk will focus on three ‘arrangements’: lichens, mycorrhizae (fungus-root associations), and mycoheterotrophs (those strange-looking non-green vascular plants). There will be lots of pretty pictures, and perhaps some theatre.

Andy is a forest ecologist who lives in Metchosin, BC. After completing graduate work in mycology (the study of fungi) at UBC, Andy worked on-and- off as a forest ecologist for the BC Forest Service until his retirement in 2015. He is co-author of six best-selling books about plants of western North America. an Adjunct Professor at SFU, and president of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society (SVIMS).

How to Plant a Seed Workshop (20 person limit)

Julia Ford

View Royal Room

Growing healthy seedlings can improve your garden’s productivity and diversity. In this workshop, Julia will walk you through the basics of home seed starting and share some of the knowledge she’s acquired growing thousands of vegetable starts in small spaces each year! Geared towards beginners and focused on economical and DIY options, this workshop is a great way to start your growing season.

Julia has been the Nursery Manager at Mason St. City Farm since 2015, where she grows high quality annual vegetable starts for gardeners and farmers in the heart of downtown Victoria. Her training includes three years of being mentored in the art of ecosystem care and living on the land at the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead and Nursery on Orcas Island and she has lent her hands to farms in Québec, on Salt Spring & Vancouver Islands, and in Baja California Sur, México. She also works as the Orchard Coordinator for the Welland Community Orchard in View Royal, and tends a small backyard plot of her own.


Of Cabbages and [January] Kings

Linda Gilkeson

Oak Bay Room

The humble cabbage and its diverse relatives (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, kale) are mainstay vegetables for a year-round harvest in our climate. Learn how to grow them really well: soil nutrients, irrigation requirements, timing of plantings, recommended varieties for all seasons and how to avoid damage from insects and diseases.

With a Ph.D. in Entomology, Linda has had careers in a biological control company, the provincial government, and the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. She regularly instructs Master Gardener programs and teaches pest management and organic gardening workshops throughout the region. Linda’s best-selling garden book, Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest, has just been republished in a new, expanded edition. She continues to self-publish books for local gardeners, including Resilient Gardens: Pollinator Gardens, Garlic Diseases, Pest Update; Year Around Harvest: Winter Gardening on the Coast; West Coast Gardening: Natural Insect, Weed and Disease Control (2013), all of which will be available at Seedy Saturday.

Introduction to Saving Seeds in the City

Matthew Kemshaw

Saanich 2 Room

Want to start saving your own seeds? Learn the basic principles and best practices, and hear about creative adaptations for small plot, urban gardens. Matthew will explore the essential things you need to know to be a successful seed saver and provide simple, understandable resources for you to take home and refer back to throughout the season. As an added bonus, all participants will receive a (free) membership to the Victoria Seed Library.

Matthew is the Executive Director of the LifeCycles Project Society and a board member of Seeds of Diversity Canada. He has been supporting urban agriculture education in the region for 12 years and is the founder of the Victoria Seed Library. Matthew has been growing seeds in urban lots and community gardens since 2007.

Edible Forest Gardens & Backyard Superfoods

Joshua Wagler

Sidney Room

Using the principles of forest gardening, transform your yard into an edible ecosystem, bursting with superfoods and providing a year-round harvest. Maximize nutrition, minimize maintenance, and create a truly exquisite edible landscape at your own home. No matter what challenges your landscape presents you, there is a delicious, environmentally-friendly solution around the corner.

Joshua is passionate about bringing the wisdom of nature into human development. He graduated with an Urban Studies Degree from the University of Calgary, and began seeking practical solutions to the challenges facing cities. This led him to permaculture design, food forestry, and urban placemaking. In 2013 he cofounded Edible Landscapes Design Ltd with Nick Poeta and Marc DeMontigny, and acts as one the firm’s main edible landscape designers.

Growing Native Medicinal Plants

Jessy Delleman

Colwood Room

Explore the diversity of native medicinal plants growing in our Pacific Northwest ecosystems. From Meadow Arnica to Sitka Valerian, Vancouver Island is home to many species of herbs commonly used in Western herbalism. Gardening with native medicinal plants can create habitat for native pollinators, beautiful landscapes, a respect for our wild places, and a connection to nature as our healer. In this talk Jessy will discuss a few key aspects of herb growing, with in-depth profiles of three native medicinal plants that can easily be propagated and grown in the home garden.

Jessy Delleman is a herbalist and herb grower based near Victoria. She is the founder of Ravensong Seeds, Miss Mullein’s Herbals, and Fireweed Farm & School. At her herb farm in Brentwood Bay, she grows rare and hard-to-find medicinal herb plants and seeds, crafts high quality herbal products, and provides education on herbal medicine, wildcrafting, herb growing, and plant spirit medicine. Jessy is also a practicing herbalist offering consultations and custom herbal preparations. She believes spending time with the plants is the best medicine of all.

All Things Succulent! Workshop (20 person limit)

Sarah Scott

View Royal Room

Join Sarah as she demonstrates how to care for, propagate, and play with succulents! Learn about growing conditions & watering, transplanting & propagating, disease and pest management, the differences between indoor and outdoor varieties, designing with succulents and much more! Sarah will also demonstrate how to create a succulent terrarium – with a chance to win one yourself!

Sarah is the founder of Botanic Creative, a plant curation and consultation company, focusing on encouraging the community to harness the powerful benefits of living with plants. Botanic Creative aims to reconnect our workplaces, homes, and humanity with nature through designing greenspaces, hosting botanical workshops, and providing plant care services.


Growing Great Tomatoes

Mary Alice Johnson

Oak Bay Room

Learn how to grow great tomatoes in our cool-summer climate. Mary Alice will cover seeding, transplanting, pruning and training, disease control, and saving seed from your favourite tomatoes.

Mary Alice has been growing heirloom tomatoes for her customers at ALM Organic farm in Sooke for almost 30 years. She has been active in the organic farming community at the local, national, and international levels and has presented many workshops and courses over those years. She grows and saves seeds from over 40 varieties of heritage tomatoes, selling them through her seed company, Full Circle Seeds.

Mycorrhizal Fungi for Healthier, More Drought-resistant Plants

Christina Nikolic

Saanich 2 Room

Myco who? Myco-rrhizae! Named after the Greek words for fungi and roots, these specialty soil organisms form a mutually beneficial relationship with plants. Unlike some pathogenic fungi, mycorrhizae are symbionts – sharing the good things in life! They procure nutrition and water for their host plants, provide protection from soil-borne pathogens, and in turn receive plant-made sugars as a sweet reward. Come learn more about the exciting science and practice of gardening with microorganisms!

Christina’s background is landscape architecture and over the years she’s designed many residential Victoria gardens. These days she runs her own business selling organic fertilizers and soil amendments across Canada. She is a senior instructor at Gaia College, teaching the Organic Master Gardener course, and a longtime board member of SOUL (Society for Organic Urban Land Care). In her spare time Christina can be found in the garden with a smile on her face, spreading mulch.

Growing (and Eating!) Perennial Vegetables

Solara Goldwynn

Sidney Room

Explore the incredible variety of perennial vegetables we can grow. Many people know rhubarb and asparagus, but there are perennial varieties of onions, kale, and broccoli; root tubers such as oca, mashua, and wasabi; and many indigenous perennial vegetables. They are a great addition to our gardens: they use less water, offer excellent nutrition, often are harvested in the shoulder seasons, can be beautiful, and you only have to plant once! Solara will cover site and soil requirements, design considerations, harvesting, sourcing, and recipe ideas.

Solara Goldwynn and her husband Tayler Krawczyk own Hatchet & Seed, an edible landscaping and regenerative design company in Victoria. She spends her time growing and tending edible and useful plants, teaching others about growing food, and chasing after her daughter Flora.

Awesome Ancient Grains and Seeds

Dan Jason

Colwood Room

Discover the awesome array of ancient grains and seeds you can grow: heritage wheats and barleys, quinoa, amaranth, soybeans, flax, and hulless pumpkin seeds, to name a few. Dan will discuss how to grow them, how to prepare them, and their importance in the context of climate change and an uncertain future.

Dan has owned and run Salt Spring Seeds for 30 years and has been the president of the non-profit Salt Spring Sanctuary Society for the past 15 years. He’s written over a dozen books on gardening and seed saving including The Power of Pulses and Saving Seeds As If Our Lives Depended On It. The latest, Awesome Ancient Grains and Seeds, is hot off the press.

Backyard Composting Workshop (20 person limit)

Alysha Punnett

View Royal Room

Find out what it takes to produce the best possible amendment for your garden, rich in beneficial microorganisms and nutrients! Alysha will cover the 6 factors for composting success, how to choose the best composting system for your needs, and how to increase the rodent resistance of your compost pile.

Alysha has taught and written about composting, permaculture, and organic gardening for almost a decade. She maintains the Compost Education Centre’s demonstration gardens and sustainable systems, leads site tours, and teaches there, as well as out in the community. She holds a BSc. in Environmental Management, a Permaculture Design Certificate, and an Organic Master Gardener certificate from Gaia College.


Growing Food Anywhere In Containers

Chris Hildreth

Sidney Room

Chris will discuss the many possibilities for growing food in containers, and the lessons he’s learned from growing thousands of pounds of produce at his nearly-3,000-container portable urban agriculture site, currently at Dockside Green. Chris is focused on maximizing yields and will show you how you can grow lots of food on balconies, backyards, driveways. or even your front steps. Any unused space you have can be turned into a thriving micro garden using containers.

Chris Hildreth graduated from UVic with a minor in business and a double major in environmental studies and sociology. In 2013 Chris began visualizing a business that would walk fresh local produce straight into local restaurant kitchens. The idea quickly grew from a 400-square-foot pilot project to a 20,000-square-foot urban agriculture business which has delivered thousands of pounds of food to nearby restaurants.

Unleashing the Magic of Seeds and Grains for Resilient Health!

Cindy Meiklejohn

Colwood Room

Explore how to get the most nutrition from seeds and grains. There’s so much hype about cutting carbs out of your diet, learn why you need them and how you can prepare them to take full advantage of their health-giving properties!

Cindy Meiklejohn. your “Food Guru”. is a food affectionato and alchemist who teaches “Food is Medicine” classes. She started the vegetarian cafe and market called Ingredients and now runs The Westcoast Pantry at the Victoria Public Market. Cindy is a health consultant and has taught at Pacific Rim College and Royal Roads University. She is passionate about healthy eating and is committed to make a difference in the world and people’s lives through food.

Lasagna Gardening Workshop (20 person limit)

Dave Friend (aka Mr. Organic)

View Royal Room

It’s all about the layers! Mr. Organic will show you how to create a ‘No Dig’ garden bed by using ‘brown’ and ‘green’ layers. It’s an inexpensive, water retentive, weed resistant, and highly productive way of growing health-friendly organic food. During this hands-on workshop, you will create a mini lasagna garden to take home!

Dave Friend (aka Mr. Organic) is a past certified organic grower. He is an international public speaker, educator, organic consultant, and the creator of the highly successful Growing Young Farmers school program. Dave is also the founder of Friendly Organics, a Vancouver Island based company offering a wide range of educational programs for all ages – with the focus on sustainability.