Webinars and online workshops

Wander into one of the online workshops and webinars for some great some great gardening tips. 

Scroll down to view nine presentations on:

  • Seed Saving Basics (Dan Rubin)
  • Intermediate to Advanced Seed Saving (Bob Wildfong)
  • Seed Starting (Dan Rubin)
  • How to Keep Your Local Seed Collection Sustainable (Bob Wildfong)  – New!

  • Food Systems and Climate Change (Amanda Smith)
  • Germination Testing (Kim Delaney)

     

  • Growing School Gardens (Allison Eady)
  • Heritage Flower Gardens c.1900-1920 (Bob Wildfong)

     

  • Reclaiming Biodiversity for Pollinator Protection (Michele Smith)

     

More videos will be added over the next week or two. 

Presentations are brought to you by Seeds of Diversity. Please visit their website to learn more about their wonderful organization. eight

Seed Saving Basics (Dan Rubin)

Description: In his recorded session, local gardener educator Dan Rubin of Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds will present an informative session on seed saving. In this workshop, he will share plant life cycles, what seeds are and why they are important, heritage seeds, the differences between annual, biennial and perennial seeds, self-pollinating and cross-pollinating varieties, seed saving from vegetables, fruits and trees, techniques for seed harvesting and cleaning, how to harvest and dry seeds from wet fruit, seed storage and seed sharing.  

As an experienced gardener and seedsman, he will offer tips to help you succeed with your own home seed saving. Dan will wrap up with a list of books and publications that offer good information and advice for new and experienced gardeners.

Bio: DAN RUBIN is a seedsman and gardener who makes his home on the coast of Newfoundland. He moved here from British Columbia almost twenty years ago after a career in education and publishing.

As founder and manager of Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds (www.perfectlyperennial.ca) he has focused on seeds for perennials and self-seeding annuals that can help rebuild food security for local families and communities. His annual spring workshops on Creating the Year Round Garden and presentations to local groups have been attended by more than 800 people.

He now leads the Earth Sheltered Greenhouse Project, with a team building an innovative year-round grow structure at the O’Brien Farm in St. John’s to demonstrate the potential for year-round food production. He is also the founder and chairperson of Food Producers Forum, Inc., a provincial non-profit supporting expansion of community-based food production. For information about that, please visit the website: www.foodproducersforum.com.

Intermediate to Advanced Seed Saving (Bob Wildfong)

Description: In this session, Bob Wildfong shares his knowledge on how to save seeds. Build your gardening confidence, as this expert seed saver will take you through his tips and tricks in order to successfully store seeds.

Bio: Bob Wildfong is the Executive Director for Seeds of Diversity.

Seed Starting (Dan Rubin)

Description: In this recorded session, Dan will explain the basics of seed starting indoors to help extend the growing season, the major mistakes to avoid and how to plan and time your plantings so that bedding plants will be ready to transplant at the right time.  Along the way, he will provide general background on seeds, and their importance to the food we eat, as well as the way varieties we depend on have been developed over time. 

Combining hands-on demonstration in his greenhouse and seed starting room with detailed background information, this will give participants a good grounding in how, why and when to start their own seedlings.

Bio: DAN RUBIN is a seedsman and gardener who makes his home on the coast of Newfoundland. He moved here from British Columbia almost twenty years ago after a career in education and publishing.

As founder and manager of Perfectly Perennial Herbs and Seeds (www.perfectlyperennial.ca) he has focused on seeds for perennials and self-seeding annuals that can help rebuild food security for local families and communities. His annual spring workshops on Creating the Year Round Garden and presentations to local groups have been attended by more than 800 people.

He now leads the Earth Sheltered Greenhouse Project, with a team building an innovative year-round grow structure at the O’Brien Farm in St. John’s to demonstrate the potential for year-round food production. He is also the founder and chairperson of Food Producers Forum, Inc., a provincial non-profit supporting expansion of community-based food production. For information about that, please visit the website: www.foodproducersforum.com.

How to Keep Your Local Seed Collection Sustainable (Bob Wildfong)

Description: Making a seed collection is easy, but keeping it viable and sustainable is much harder. Bob Wildfong reveals the best practices behind Seeds of Diversity’s Seed Library collection so you can start right and keep your collection vital in the long run.

Bio: Bob Wildfong is the Executive Director for Seeds of Diversity.

Food Systems and Climate Change (Amanda Smith)

Description: Many of us have noticed in our growing areas that the weather affects our gardens and crops.  We have not seen to the yields as we expected.  Or, we have not noticed the same level of harvests due to improper pollination, or insect damage.  And, we simply have heard the reference, ‘Climate Change’, and we wonder how that will impact us?

Drastic changes in weather have been a large discussion across the country.  Whether it is drought, flooding, extreme summer heat, or ‘these strange bugs popping up that I have not seen before’, this particular topic on how climate change affects our gardens and farms is important.

In this presentation, we will do an overview of changes in weather patterns across the country and what to be ready for.  But, also, how to adapt to changes as they come.  Preparation is important, and so is awareness.

Bio: A graduate of Manitoba university in 2004, Amanda Smith walked bravely into her future with her degree in Russian Literature and Holocaust studies to become a….farmer? After a 12-year adventurous journey, Amanda is an accomplished agricultural and horticultural specialist, and gardening master in the Fraser Valley. From farm apprentice to farm owner then Master Gardener, specialty floral designer, and educator, she enjoys researching plant health, growth patterns, pests and diseases and greenhouse growing. Her true passion is teaching, from school kids through the Nature’s Classroom program to farmers in the field to ordinary citizens who want to grow their own food.  Amanda has also spent years in the garden center/ nursery field as well. 

An avid supporter of community gardens, she has managed several in Langley, including Maples Discovery Garden and the Langley Learning Farm. Now, the Agriculture Stewardship Coordinator at Langley Environmental Partners Society, she plans agricultural events and educational group workshops, school curriculum, and one-one support to the Langley community around farm and garden sustainability and food security. 

When not out in a field or yanking weeds in a community garden, you can find the native of South Western BC, at home in Abbotsford with her fur babies, Astro and Shadow.

Germination Testing (Kim Delaney)

Come learn about the fascinating world of seed germination.  Learn a simple home germ test that will help you decide whether or not to bother sowing that ancient seed pack that has been sitting in your seed box for a few years.

Kim will cover seed germination basics such as what do seeds need in order to germinate, why are some seeds seemingly stubborn and why do some seeds need a cold treatment? Kim has done tens of thousands of germ tests in her day and would love to share what she has learned with you.

 www.hawthornfarm.ca

Growing School Gardens (Allison Eady)

Description: In this webinar, we will talk about the growth of gardening in schools in Waterloo Region and across Ontario, including challenges and successes, and the potential outdoor and garden-based learning have for supporting youth in learning and engaging with their communities, through COVID restrictions and the future of education.

Bio: Allison is program coordinator at Waterloo Region School Food Gardens, an organization that helps fund, build, and support gardens in schools in Waterloo Region and beyond. She is also a PhD Candidate in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. She loves learning about engaging people with the environment and food security where they live, and getting young people involved in the food system.

Heritage Flower Gardens c.1900-1920 (Bob Wildfong)

Description: Take a tour of flower gardens of a hundred years ago, and learn how you can create that old-fashioned look in your own garden.

Bio: Bob Wildfong is the Executive Director for Seeds of Diversity.

Reclaiming Biodiversity for Pollinator Protection (Michele Smith)

Description: Can you imagine a world where we treat all plants, animals, water, air and people with equal respect? This presentation explores the effects of “manufactured landscapes” on plant biodiversity, affecting the health of the ecosystems we depend on. Pollinators are in steep decline, yet they are responsible for one-third of the world’s food supply. In particular, the Monarch butterfly population has plummeted since the 1970’s. 

Many factors have contributed to their depletion, however anyone with a lawn, balcony or access to green space can be pre-eminent in revitalizing Monarch populations and ensuring climate-readiness. By planting milkweed in a pot or butterfly garden patch, you can make a difference for this incredible insect. Michele hopes to inspire you through learning about the unparalleled life and journey of the Monarch butterfly, to consider connecting your community as a ‘butterflyway’ for Monarchs.

If each person plants even one pollinator-friendly plant in their outdoor living space, we will all reap the benefits from the health of this vital ecosystem.

Bio: Michele Smith is an elementary school teacher who helps gardeners transition from “traditional” lawn and garden practices to sustainable gardening with food, wildlife and protection from global warming in mind.

In addition to teaching, Michele is an authorized scientific collector of Monarch Butterflies through the Monarch Teacher Network of Canada and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. She is passionate about teaching and learning with Monarch Butterflies.

Michele is currently working on a project to combine Indigenous food gardening with pollinator and rain gardens, in order to increase the plant biodiversity at the school grounds where she works. She believes that students need to learn outside, connecting with nature and its inhabitants, in order to become the responsible environmental stewards that will sustain future generations.

If each person plants even one pollinator-friendly plant in their outdoor living space, we will all reap the benefits from the health of this vital ecosystem.

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Who are Seeds of Diversity?

Seed of Diversity are a group of seed savers from coast to coast who protect Canada’s seed biodiversity by growing it themselves and sharing it with others. Every year, they multiply the most vulnerable seed varieties that they can, exchange seeds with each other, and keep those varieties alive and in cultivation for future gardeners to enjoy.

As a membership organization, their main funding is from their own contributions in subscriptions and charitable donations. Over 1000 members across Canada make Seeds of Diversity a vibrant and visible part of the gardening and food security scene.

Seeds of Diversity volunteer at over 150 Seedy Saturday and Seedy Sunday events across Canada, write articles for their popular magazine and monthly email bulletin, package seeds for community seed libraries, and help beginner seed savers learn the easy techniques for growing good seeds.