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Saturday June 18, 2022

Climate resilient, locally adapted open-pollinated seeds from the KASSI Living Seed Commons can be legally saved and shared 🙂

Happy Saturday friends. There are so many things to do today! KASSI volunteers will be with Gardening Kingston at Roden Park, Norman Rogers Drive today from 10-12. We will be sharing seeds, knowledge ad ideas and premiering Gardening KIngston’s lovely Little Seed Library at that site!

Our friends at the Kenhte:ke Seed Sanctuary & and Learning Centre will be gathering today for a work bee at their beautiful seed garden in Tyendinaga from 10-12 today. They already had plenty of things for everyone to do but now could use some help to clean up debris from the huge windstorm that swept through our area.

And finally Rideau Thousand Islands Master Gardeners will be at the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club today until noon. They will have information on Planting for Pollinators, as well as our first “Bring One-Take One Perennial Trade. This wonderful way to expand our biodiversity collection and connect with local gardeners.Nothing to Trade? Perennials will be available for sale at $5, with revenue going to the Cataraqui Tree Fund.

We hope that you have a wonderful day!

Please join us for this very special event.

In 2019, the Sisters of Providence closed their Heirloom Seed Sanctuary in Kingston, and gifted the seeds to KASSI (Kingston Area Seed System Initiative) and RatinenhayÄ—nthos, an Indigenous seed stewardship organization at Tyendinaga.

A Rematriation Ceremony was held at the time, with the two recipient organizations committing to caring for the seeds and sharing them.

Saturday, April 23, the three organizations will renew their commitment to the seeds, in an online anniversary celebration.

“The Sisters of Providence are very pleased to have been part of the important work of the Heirloom Seed Sanctuary,” said Sr. Diane Brennen, “and we are happy to continue to connect with the two community groups that received our seed collection,” .

“Members and friends of our seed stewardship work are invited to join us, to recognize the central position of seeds in our culture and our food system,” said Janice Brant, with RatinenhayÄ—nthos.

“We are excited to to reaffirm our commitment to keeping the seed collections, and the knowledge of how to save seeds, vibrant and distributed in the community,” said Cathy Christie, with KASSI (Kingston Area Seed System Initiative ). “We want every household to have a cupboard with a few jars of open-pollinated seeds saved from the year before — locally- adapted seeds that will make our regional food system more self-reliant and resilient to climate change.”



Seed Packing Work Bee

KASSI Seed Packet for Melfort tomato that was grown out by our friends at Edible Forest Farm, Inverary in 2021. It is one of the varieties that we will be packing at the work bee on Monday April 11!

Calling all KASSI Seed Guardians. We need your help to package Seeds for Sharing that were kindly grown out in 2021 by KASSI Seed Guardians. Join us on Monday April 11 from 2-4 pm at St Luke’s Church (236 Nelson St.). Take home seeds from the KASSI Living Seed Commons and other seeds that that friends kindly shared during the earlier seed swaps!

Seed Swap- Saturday April 2 from 1-3 pm at St. Luke’s Church

Thanks to everyone who braved the inclement weather last Saturday to share their seeds at Lakeside Community Garden, We had so much fun that we want to do it again this Saturday because there is still time to start your tomatoes!  And we can be inside!

  • Saturday April 2, 2022, 1 to 3 pm
  • St. Luke’s Church, 236 Nelson Street (just off Princess Street, near the Memorial Centre)

Remember those legendary tomato tasting events at the Heirloom Seed Sanctuary (HSS)? We have two dozen heirloom tomato varieties from the HSS Collection to share with you.  You can get to know them here:
Bring your saved seeds to swap with other seed savers, and find locally-adapted seeds from the KASSI Living Seed Commons (by donation).

We look forward to seeing you there!

In Person Seed Swap: Saturday March 26 1-2 pm at Lakeside Community Garden (at the corner of Days and Front Road)

You can always find KASSI seeds and other local products at Old Farm Fine Food 204 Barrie St. We are grateful for the role they play in our local seed and food system 🙂

We had hoped to host an in-person seed swap tomorrow (Sat March 19) but the forecast does not look promising.

We invite you to join us at Lakeside Community Garden (at the corner of Front and Days Road) on Saturday March 26 from 1-2 pm instead. Rain date Sunday March 27 from 1-2 pm. at the same location!

KASSI seeds will be available! You can also pick them up at Old Farm Fine Foods 204 Barrie St.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Jan 27 2022: Today on Ask A Master Gardener

What are your favourite winter species? I love looking out my front window at the lovely white birch that someone kindly planted in my front yard years ago. Soon these trees will have more friends. I can’t wait to see what happens when the native trees, shrubs and plants that were planted this summer start to grow.

 Today on Ask A Master Gardener at 1:00 pm Nancy will be sharing some of her favourite species with winter interest.

As always, while we have a theme for today, we’re happy to answer any gardening questions.

Join our zoom session:

In the news….

Researcher Tatenda Mambo is managing the University of Calgary’s Simon Farm project. (Riley Brandt, University of Calgary)

Meet Tatenda Mambo. He is a farmer and researcher who wrote this incredible article about the fragility of mainstream agriculture. It makes our work fighting for locally adapted seeds in the Kingston Area even more urgent!

Efficient or resilient: Alberta must find the right balance to protect our food supply

“Last summer, a brutal heat dome knocked out crops across the prairies. But on our experimental farm just south of Calgary, it also gave a measure of hope.

At the University of Calgary’s Simon Farm Project near Blackie, Alta., we’re testing whether the traits found in locally-saved and traditional seed varieties can bring more resilience to our food production in the face of climate change.

It’s part of a larger research effort to help Alberta’s farmers shift their practices and weather the increased drought we know is coming.

The heat showed a difference between the various seed varieties we were testing, and it was staggering.

Most potatoes, kale and other plants from the seed of national distributors succumbed to the heat and withered away. The same plants from the locally-saved seed held on.  (bo

This seed was from farmers in the region who had been planting and gathering it for at least 10 years, letting it acclimatize to our conditions. At the end of the day, despite four weeks of no significant rain and  27 C heat, we still got a modest harvest from the locally-acclimatized seed. (bold font is ours btw)

Of course, this is just one extreme summer and the work is ongoing, but the resilience of local seeds has been documented by other researchers. Traditional or Indigenous agricultural practices around the world have shown we can work with nature to produce our food in a manner that can restore and support ecological functions rather than degrade and erode them. And if we go back to incorporate these techniques, we can create a system that is more resilient.

Read the rest of the article here Please share it widely!