Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sensational Urban Seeds!

Sensational Urban Seeds
It's hard to believe another season of Urban Seeds is behind us! Our little bundles of locally grown, organic, nongmo seeds- all lovingly packaged by volunteers- have just landed in stores.

Thank you to our many partner stores for selling our seeds an supporting our seedy social enterprise: Figaro's Garden, Home Hardware on the Drive, East End Food Co-op, Eternal Abundance, Harvest Union, Olla Flowers, Much & Little, The Soap Dispensary, The Honeybee Centre, Van Dusen Botanical Garden Shop.

 A huge thank you also goes to Premier Envelopes and Watson Gloves for their generous donations to the program!

And last, but certainly not least; I would personally like to thank each and every volunteer who donated their time, energy, skills and laughter to Urban Seeds. Without you, there wouldn't be a program. Collectively you donated over 700 hrs of service, raised over $2,000 for the program in seed sales, and packaged 2,650 seed packets for the upcoming season!

I hope you feel inspired and empowered to take your new found seed saving and gardening knowledge with you and share it with your community.

"A favourite memory from the program is just simply seeing the seeds. When we opened up an Orca Bean from the Youth Garden for seed saving, I was so surprised. It was beautiful, like and actual orca whale. Seeing it for the first time made me realize that the best part about food is not only eating it, but seeing how it started and where it came from."

-EYA Volunteer

Here is a snapshot of photos from our incredible year together...

(*last photo taken by volunteer Sam MacTavish:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sensational Seed Swap

We have had a bountiful year already with EYA's Urban Seeds Program. Thanks to the many hours and helping hands of our awesome volunteers we launched into a fun season full of heirloom bean, tomato and lettuce varieties! We hit the ground running with our new stock in stores in February (click here for a full list of stores where you can buy them), and participated in the much loved Seedy Saturday event at Van Dusen Gardens.

This past Saturday EYA hosted our own Seed Swap event in the Strathcona Community Garden. We had over 50 volunteers, community garden members, board members and public show up to trade their seeds, swap gardening stories and sip tea in the sunshine! It was a wonderful way to share the bounties of our gardens, preserve local seed varieties and mingle with like-minded folk. A special thanks to Lynn from Seeds of Diversity for coming and sharing the great work they do!

Thanks also to all those who have purchased Urban Seeds so far, so we can continue to run our volunteer program and teach hands-on sustainable horticulture to youth in a unique urban setting.

Wishing you all a bountiful growing season!

Volunteer Flynn at our EYA table

Our lovely Board Member Christina helping people with seeds

Seeds of Diversity table
Volunteers making signs
Volunteers making lemon balm tea on our wood burning stove
Folks taking home some Urban Seeds!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snowy Saturday Salve

What better way to spend a snowy Saturday then drinking tea by the wood stove and making an wintery herbal ointment? That's just what happened at last week's Balms Away workshop - where we infused cottonwood buds in oil to make the famous Balm of Gilead. A skin healing preparation filled with rich scented resins perfect for soothing wintery skin. EYA hosted folks in the Strathcona Community Garden's Eco Pavilion. Throw another log on the fire!
Thanks Melissa for bringing Labrador Tea from the Yukon. "Smells like home." She said.

After giving thanks, collecting the Cottonwood tree buds was a group effort. 

The oil changes colour as it infuses with the goodness from the buds.
Straining the oil through cheese cloth to get every last drop!

After adding beeswax,  the mixture can be poured into containers.

Once it cools the salve hardens like a lip balm, ready to use. 

And that's how you make Snowy Saturday Salve!