WELL, Seedy Sunday may not have transpired this year but I will be throwing my wholehearted support into an inaugural event for 2018.
As readers will know, I have a fondness for saving seed and keeping strains going that have a special place in my heart — and a big part of Seedy Sunday is spreading that message and the practice.
Carol Jaye, the mainstay of Ryde Arts Festival, who works extremely hard to win grants that make all sorts of arty and crafty things happen in the town, was defeated in her efforts to make Seedy Sunday happen at the weekend.
But there will be meetings throughout the year so Carol can have the luxury of time and support for next February’s event.
A bit of background: Inspired by Ryde in Bloom, Ryde Arts Festival applied and was awarded an Arts Council grant in March last year for a project called GROW, which started with artist Jo Hummel Newell working from an allotment shed in Quarry Road, Ryde, engaging with the many gardeners there.
"Since then we have worked with many schools, artists, composers and Ryde Library, exploring the excitement of growing," said Carol.
"One idea that came out of it was Ryde should host its own Seedy Sunday.
"The aim of Seedy Sundays, which take place around the country, the biggest being in Brighton (see www.seedysunday.org), is to encourage growing in many forms and ways.
"The event on Sunday sought to offer an opportunity to all those gardeners on the Island the very best information and help but I ran out of time to organise a comprehensive event so reluctantly had to postpone it.
"We had hired the wonderful community hub, Aspire at Holy Trinity Church in Dover Street, Ryde, to provide a space for organisations to hire a space to display, sell or share their own special angle on the many aspects of growing."
She sought those with experience of managing fruit trees, keeping bees and livestock, growing from seed, gardening for health and by-products of the natural world, such as plant dyeing, spinning and weaving — the list goes on.
Now Ryde Arts Festival, working with Aspire, plans to bring this exciting event to the Island next year and will throw out an open invitation to all.
It is planned the kitchen at Aspire will provide a hot vegetable soup with bread as sustenance together with the usual soft drinks, beverages and their own range of delicious cakes so all visitors will be assured of a warm welcome.
And those partaking will have the added satisfaction of enjoying food that would otherwise have ended in a supermarket skip.
As an interesting aside, Aspire can accommodate a great variety of activities whether in the film studio, small meeting rooms or in the main body of the building where the main event was planned this year, computer use.
The message this year to gardeners is to save your special seed and information about how to pass it on to other enthusiasts will follow later.
As part of the continuing GROW Ryde project it will be your opportunity to make an important contribution to help build a bank of local seeds.
As my own small contribution, I will be doing my own, small, seed service this year — courtesy of good friends of this column, Sue and Terry Harlow.
They have made available several small packets of seed, which will be in the County Press Shop in Pyle Street, Newport, from today onwards.
The 50p for each packet will go to the charity I have long supported, Send a Cow, which helps people in Africa farm their way out of food poverty.
The seeds are:
l The Island’s very own Brighstone bean. This dwarf can either be dried and eaten as a haricot or harvested young as a very tasty green bean.
l Runner bean Galaxy: A scarlet-flowered bean, which sets its flowers readily whatever the summer weather. A bumper crop of succulent, stringless pods is promised.
l Sweet pea: Everlasting white. Hardy perennial, scrambling climber. The much-admired hardy perennial sweet pea produces masses of delicate blooms.
l Cosmos (mixed).
l Calendula.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk