After the first sunny day in March, most gardeners begin to think about starting seeds. This includes gardeners in all types of dwellings – from highrise condos to townhomes to bungalows. It makes no difference where you live.

I have grow lights in my kitchen and a greenhouse outside, so I have a place to start seeds indoors and a place to move them when they get growing. But what about everyone else, including renters? Are they starting seeds this spring?

Dan LaRocque is a former landscaper and a current renter. For years, he built gardens at his rental homes just for the pleasure of working the soil, but that all stopped last year.

In 2019, LaRocque became a farmer in his attached garage when the self-proclaimed computer geek ordered and assembled a mobile farm-wall system. In his 240-square-foot growing area, LaRocque has a home office for his computer business, works on his farm, harvests food for his family and sells the extra produce to chefs.

He starts seeds every week and moves green seedlings of kale, swiss chard and basil into his farm-wall as he harvests. Working on his farm for an hour or two each morning allows the bright lights from his vertical system to boost his mood year-round.

Most gardeners are happy with a few lights in the basement or in their condo storage closet, but LaRocque has gone big with his eight farm walls.

Luckily, all gardeners can celebrate seeds at the big growing event of the season in Calgary on the first day of spring. Seedy Saturday takes place March 21 at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association.

Seedy Saturday is perfect for gardeners ready to share information and excited to start seeds. I will be speaking at Seedy Saturday this year and am excited to share secrets from several growers I follow and interview for my podcast. They are all at the leading edge of growing ordinary food in extraordinary ways.

So, if you have been perusing a few online catalogues or dropping by garden centres just to smell the moist air, mark your calendar now.

Regardless of age or housing status, seed starting is the official start of gardening season in Calgary. Why not jump in the game and grow the best food ever for yourself and your family this year?