Rossland REAL Food members Hanne Smith

Rossland REAL Food members Hanne Smith

Gardeners swap and sell seeds

Event helps green thumbs map out spring plantings with local seed

Gardening doesn’t stop in the winter for a group that focuses on bringing real food to the table, but it definitely flourishes in the spring.

Rossland REAL Food, which encourages growing food and strengthening  local food systems in the community, continued with garden tours through the cold months – bringing curious green thumbs into growers’ homes where tips could be shared.

But as the days grow longer, the crew of foodies kicked off their spring season with a seed swap and sale at the Miners Hall Sunday evening.

“We have a fairly unique climate, I think, and seeds that are grown locally do better in our climate than those grown in the United States,” said member Sarah Flood.

Local seed savers, both hobbyists and commercial growers, turned up for the sale and trade event, which eased a glut of too many seeds for some gardeners while filling the coffers of those with too few.

Tomato, beans, peas and dill seeds were some of the variety expected at the first-time event Sunday evening.

“It’s sort of been going on for 20 years, but people are just getting more interested in it now,” said Flood, adding that similar events are held in Slocan, Winlaw, Kaslo and Nelson.

“I just love gardening and growing stuff and it’s really neat to see what other people are doing, too,” said Flood of her involvement in the “informal” group.

After gardeners had a chance to trade and sell their seeds, participants were invited to kick back and watch two inspiring films about local food systems and soil.

When the Rossland Centre for Arts and Culture wanted to play “FRESH” – a film that encourages people across America to grow fresh food, cultivate new ideas and become active participants in the move toward healthy and sustainable alternatives to industrial agriculture – it decided to team with REAL Food.

The two groups also showcased “Dirt!,” which digs into the wonders of soil and explores how drought, famine, climate change and war impact it.

With a general $12 admission, proceeds from the event will go to the Rossland Centre for Arts and Culture and Rossland REAL Food.

Funding for the non-profit group goes toward hosting projects like a community garden, a weekly farmers market in the summer and unique workshops including its first of the season — on native bees this Wednesday (from 6:30-9 p.m. at the arena lounge).

For more information on upcoming workshops, visit www.rosslandrealfoods.       com