See you at Seedy Saturday on March 8!

seed_savers_logo_largeHey there Skookies-

Powell River’s ninth annual Seedy Saturday is coming up this Saturday (March 8, 2014). Please note the new earlier hours: doors open at 9:30 AM and the event goes until 2:30 PM.  Admission is $2 and the Farmers’ Institute is happy to accept Powell River Dollars. Kids 12 and under get in for free, so bring the whole family! This is the annual event that kicks off the growing season in the region, and anyone who’s been there in the past knows that it’s both fun and educational. Inside, approximately six seed vendors and 20 community groups are participating.

Skookum will be there with an info table and Tattler BPA-free, indefinitely reusable home canning lids for sale:

Price List ( remember that your purchase also supports Skookum… for more info on the lids visit )

Our prices cannot be beaten– do some research and see for yourself.

  • 50 wide lids and rings ….. $40 each
  • 50 regular lids and rings ….. $35 each
  • 24 regular lids and rings …. $17 each
  • 24 wide mouth lids and rings.. $20 each
  • Regular lid+ring sampler pack.. (6 lids+rings) $4 each
  • Wide mouth lid+ring sampler.. pack (6 lids+rings) $5 each
  • Regular rings (8 per pack) ….. $2 each
  • Wide mouth rings (8 per pack). $2 each

More on the Seedy Saturday event this weekend… there will be lots to do for kids as well!

Workshop schedule:

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM

  • Kevin Wilson:Three ways to start seeds
  • Margaret Cooper & Jo-Ann Canning: Surviving the invasion of the Spotted-Wing Drosophila (you will recall we had a blog post on this here)

11:00 AM to 11:45 PM

  • Julia Adam & Rob Hughes: Soil Health: The foundation for thriving plants
  • Leonie Croy: Saving seeds that sustain us

12:00 PM to 12:45 PM

  • Rosie Fleury: Gardening with poultry
  • Doug Brown: Should or shouldn’t I keep bees?

1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (BIG EVENT!!)

  • Carolyn Herriot (Evergreen Theatre): At 1 p.m. best-selling author Carolyn Herriot will be presenting on “How to Save Seeds to Grow Local Food” in the Evergreen Theatre at the Recreation Complex. Her talk is to help energize everyone into growing more food, saving seed and getting involved in the Farmers’ Institute Seed Bank . For more information about the event, please contact Wendy Devlin at (604) 483-9268 or visit




Protecting Against Spotted Wing Drosophila

Spotted Wing Drosophila

Well, you may have heard that the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) fruit fly has arrived in Powell River. It can cause a lot of damage to all soft ripe fruit and there are a few things we can do to protect our crops from it.  Below are details that we found online, with links to good quality images and information that can help identify the bug and help to deal with these unfortunately very hearty and prolific fruit flies.

(from: — click on that link for many images and lots of information, albeit from an Ontario perspective; local bulletins appear at the end of this post)

Why worry?

Growers are accustomed to the vinegar flies that are commonly associated with overripe, damaged and dropped fruit. What makes the SWD different is that the female has a heavily serrated ovipositor that allows her to saw through intact fruit and lay her eggs under the skin. Larvae hatch and feed on the fruit, rendering it unmarketable. Disease pathogens and other insect pests can also enter through the egg-laying holes, causing further deterioration of the fruit.

Which crops are at risk?

According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture: In British Columbia, spotted wing drosophila has been confirmed infesting:
– strawberry (Fragaria)
– crabapple (Mallus)
– plum (Prunus) – including Italian prune plum
– cherry (Prunus)
– Raspberry (Rubus) — the first choice, and most susceptible to attack
– Himalayan blackberry (Rubus)
– loganberry, tayberry, boysenberry
– blueberry (Vaccinium)
– peach, nectarine, apricot (Prunus) — though not a first choice
SWD is suspected in:
– hardy kiwifruit (Actinidia)
– grapes (Vitis) — especially soft-skinned varieties or if skin is broken
– fig (Ficus) — can be infested when conditions are right, or like grapes, if the skin is broken.
Berries in the Ribes genus are also susceptible:
– currant
– gooseberry
– jostaberry

Please refer to these two locally produced documents by Margaret Cooper and Jo-Ann Canning, on how to deal with this! We will add new bulletins to this list as they occur.

  • Bulletin 1 
  • Bulletin 2

There is also this brochure by the BC Ministry of Agriculture, that is very useful.