March at the Seed Library

Pawpaw MainMarch at the Seed Library

Gearing Up for Spring

Spring is almost here and we’ve got about 10,000 things on the go! Every weekend in March there’s a Seedy Saturday — veritable seed fairs featuring vendors, workshops, and seed exchanges. Every weekend in April we’ve got Seed Saving 101 workshops & Seed Exchanges with the Toronto Public Library. Oh, and our Pawpaw Campaign has finally kicked off! Lastly, don’t worry, we’re almost back in the garden after this absurdly cold winter. We now present the newsletter:

Donations: A “berry” big thank you to everyone who has donated so far! We are finding ourselves very cash strapped at this extremely “buzzy thyme” of the year and need some funds to sustain our operations. Our first donation drive had a goal of $250 and we’ve raised $170 so far. If Ezra Levant raised around $100,000 for a new version SunTV in a month, I’m sure we can drum up a couple hundred bucks to get seeds into people’s hands! Click here for more donation information.

Pawpaw: This year the Toronto Seed Library is proud to announce the launch of a multi-year Pawpaw Planting Campaign. The pawpaw tree is perhaps North America’s best-kept fruit secret. I had never heard of this astonishing tree until last year — and since have gone totally bonkers over them. It is our continent’s largest native fruit, about the size of mango with a flavour like a combination of banana, mango, and melon, with an avocado-like texture. Sound a-maize-ing?! IT IS!! Not only is the fruit tasty beyond measure, but it’s a native tree with few pests that helps support and revive local ecosystems. The handsome Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly only feeds on pawpaw trees’ leaves in the caterpillar stage — but more than makes up for its munching with its beauty and intrinsic worth!

To participate in this planting campaign you will need to have regular land access that will last for years to come. The campaign will consist of three workshops and a field trip to the Niagara region to see pawpaws in the wild. The Seed Library received donations of pawpaw seeds from Forbes Wild Foods and will be working with live trees (and possibly some seeds) from Sassafras Farms in the Niagara region. Email us at torontoseedlibrary@gmail.com to participate or for more information. Note: There will be a cost attached to participation in this program to help cover costs, $75.

The Seedy Zine: The newest edition of The Seedy Zine is out! You can grab copies at our events for $5 or at Urban Harvest’s table at Farmer’s Markets and view the PDF online. The Winter 2015 edition features pawpaw campaign tree information, round ups on the Eastern Canada Organic Seed Growers Conference and Guleph Organics Conference, a basic guide to worm composting, philosophy, art, poetry, and other seedy info.

We are currently accepting articles, art, poetry, and whatever you produce related to seeds or agriculture for the Spring 2015 edition. Email submissions to: theseedyzine@gmail.com

Seedy Saturdays: The annual Seed Exchanges and Events throughout Toronto (and Canada) organized by Seeds of Diversity and its local partners including the TSL, are nearly upon us! Check out our events calendar for a listing of Toronto area events and the Seeds of Diversity Events Page for GTA and the rest of Canada.

Mississauga Seed Library Launch: The Toronto Seed Library will be co-sponsoring the launch of the Mississauga Seed Library at the Port Credit Branch of the Mississauga Public Library this weekend on March 7! Make sure you head out to the opening event if you’re in Mississauga, there will bee plenty of seeds, great workshops, and lots of info. Check out the poster for more info.

Saturdays at the TPL: This year every Saturday in April, a couple in May (23, 30), and one in June (6), will see Seed Saving 101 workshops in Public Libraries across Toronto. We’ll be kicking it off on April 4 at the Parliament Street Library — “sow” make sure to be there!! One non-Saturday workshop as well on June 2. Check our events calendar for a full listing.

Spore Library Meet-up: Not satisfyed with seeds? Want something more challenging with totally different requirements than most food crops? On April 15 we’ll bee holding a preliminary discussion on forming a Toronto Spore Library for people wanting to grow fungal foods. The location is still to be arranged — more info in the next newsletter, for now just save the date!

Until next thyme…stay seedy!!!
Mulch lovage,
The Toronto Seed Library Team