The Jasper Community Garden is still in its frozen fallow stage, but that won’t last much longer, what with the onset of spring and the longer hours of sun. | S.Hayes photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Spring is springing, which means that thoughts are turning to dirt and the messy, glorious business of planting a garden.

Thankfully, Seedy Saturday March 25, 2023 is arriving like the morning sun over the mountaintop to spread some light and cheer for the next steps to come.

The Jasper Local Food Society hosts the event as a popular way for Jasperites to trade seeds and swap plant clippings while taking in some valuable tips on how to make their gardens grow.

Jasper has a really small growing season and gardeners need all the help that they can get, said organizer Beth McLachlan, communications manager for the organization. That’s part of the reason why the event is free for all to attend and participate in.

“You don’t have to bring your seeds. You can come and take some seeds. We have a random variety. You don’t have to bring any, but it is a swap so if you bring some and take some, that’s the point,” she said.

“There’s flower seeds, there’s herbs, and then there’s plants. There’s a wide variety. We are going to add some more seeds into the library. It’ll be stocked up for anyone to come and grab and test the seeds out.”

McLachlan also added in a table for people to swap plant clippings this year. She said that she will bring a bunch of her own to get this new addition to take root with the public.

Seedy Saturday runs from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 at the Snowdome. If you’re the sort who needs to plot things out, make sure to be there for 1 p.m. That’s when ryAn eSch, the group’s community garden organizer, will present a talk on starting your seeds. He did the same talk at the Jasper Municipal Library recently for an ongoing series of gardening presentations.

“ryAn suggested if anyone missed it, they can come and chat with him again. That’d be really good if anyone’s having questions, ryAn’s the ultimate garden guru in the town,” McLachlan said.

A few of the group’s other members will be there as well to answer questions about gardening in general and about the organization. You can sign up for your $10 membership on site and renew your plot at the same tie. They will be selling $20 reusable JLFS bags as well.

Alyssa Stack will be offering henna tattoos for $10.  

The society is also currently running its annual Garden Plot Lottery. It is offering a number of plots at the community garden to new members. People can enter their names either via an online form (there is a link found on the society’s social media page) or via email to Entries will be accepted until April 15 for the draw that will be held on May 1.

In the meantime, you can also attend the weekly gardening presentations that are being held at the Jasper Municipal Library until April 12. The next sessions will feature Marci DeWandel and Annie Walker discussing native plants on March 29, Angie and Steve Blake talking about gardening in small spaces on April 5, and Ursula Winkler focusing our attention toward weather and wildlife on April 12.

Each weekly program starts at 6:30 p.m. While you’re at the library, you can also pay a visit to the Seed Library to get another head start on your garden.

McLachlan suggested that the Seed Library works on a self-propagating philosophy, in a manner of speaking.

“Basically, if you take anything from the seed library, and you grow it and you plant it, we ask that you save some of those seeds – if it produces seeds at all – and then bring it back into the seed library. It’s just like a communal growing opportunity,” she said.

People should also watch out for the return of the Secret Garden Tour coming this summer. Details will be released closer to the event.

By Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 21, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from    The Fitzhugh    Jasper, Alberta

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