Come to our 8th Annual Fall Seed Swap!

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 2-4pm

Cummington Community House, 33 Main Street, Cummington
Join us for our 8th Annual Hilltown Fall Seed Swap to learn how to save your own garden seed, get answers to your seed saving questions and exchange seed that you’ve saved with other local growers. You won’t leave empty handed!

You do not need to bring seed to come to this event. We welcome people at all levels of experience, including those who have never saved seed before.

Free & All Welcome!  Suggested Donation $10

adopt-a-seed-painting
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Get ready for the Great Hilltown Plant Swap on May 18th!

57602894_2587428751287249_3363632817870209024_nThe Hilltown Seed Saving Network is pleased to announce its eighth annual Spring Plant Swap on Saturday, May 18th from 10am to 12:30pm at the Community House in Cummington (33 Main St).  Bring your extra seeds, seedlings and perennial plant divisions to share.  Get new plants for your garden and meet fellow gardeners, seed savers, and pollinator-enthusiasts.  You won’t leave empty handed!

Please note that you don’t have to bring plants to come to this event.  We welcome people at all levels of experience, including those who have never gardened before.

The event will begin at 10am.  You will have plenty of time to browse and help yourself to the dozens of home grown varieties of tomatoes, beans, kale, wildflowers, and many other crops, as well as perennial plant divisions including pollinator-friendly and medicinal plants.  If you cannot attend the plant swap but wish to drop off plants, you may do so any time after 10am.

Also, we encourage everyone who is bringing seed or plant material to the event to list it online using our Virtual Seed Bank at http://seednetwork.herokuapp.com.  Once you have registered (a quick and easy process), you will be able to browse varieties that other people in the Hilltowns are saving, and perhaps bringing to the Plant Swap.

The suggested donation for this event is a sliding scale of $5 – $15.  For more information contact Sadie at 413- 475- 2692.

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Come to the 2019 Winter Scion Swap!

good-grafting-of-fruit-trees-tittleSave the date! Our 2019 Winter Scion Swap will be held on Sunday, March 10th, 2019 from 1-3pm at the Cummington Community House!

Our first Scion Swap last year was a huge success with an outstanding turnout of eager and enthusiastic orchardists who brought many fine scions to swap and share.  We also enjoyed a great introduction to grafting with a hands-on workshop led by local orchardist Alan Suprenant.

This year we welcome our own Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield to show us some of his tricks and best practices for getting successful grafts to seal and grow.

All are welcome, from beginner to advanced.  Contributions to support our speakers are welcome.  Suggested donation for this event is $5-20.

New this year!  If you are interested in grafting scionwood onto new rootstalk to create your own trees for a fraction of the cost of purchasing fruit trees from a nursery, you can preorder rootstalk by sending an email to Seva before Feb 15th.  Extra rootstalk may be available for purchase at the scion swap for $5 each.

Update: We were unable to preorder rootstock to arrive in time for the scion swap.  Sorry to the folks who were interested.  However, if you come to the swap and would still like to order rootstock to graft your scions, we will put in a group order for a discount and arrange for local pickup in late-March or early-April. 

What is scionwood?

Scions (pronounced “sigh-ons”) are cuttings from the first year growth on a fruit tree, typically the tips from branches or watersprouts.  Fruit trees do not reproduce themselves in their seeds, but we can multiply our favorite varieties by taking small cuttings and grafting or attaching them onto the branches or rootstocks of other trees in the same family.  The wood gradually heals together and can even become productive sooner as the existing root system feeds the new branch.

How to cut and store your scionwood:

1. In January or February, select a straight stem, pencil size in diameter, from last year’s growth

2. Cut an 8-10″ piece with sharp pruning clippers

3. Label the variety name and wrap in slightly dampened material such as shredded newspaper or paper towels

4. Store in a plastic bag

5. Keep in a cool (not freezing) place such as a refrigerator until you are ready to graft in April or May

Want to learn more?

Check out these resources and you’ll be well on your way to scion success!

  • Video on cutting scionwood by Stephen Hayes
  • An Extension Article from Michigan State University
  • How-To from an Apple Nursery in North Carolina
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Creamery Soup Night to benefit HSSN!

When: Tuesday, Feb 5, 5-6:30pm

Where: Old Creamery Co-op, Cummington

Have you heard?
The Old Creamery Co-op in Cummington is hosting FREE monthly Soup Nights to benefit local non-profit organizations, and this month the recipient is the Hilltown Seed Saving Network!

So, if you like soup, come over to the Old Creamery on Tuesday night and fill a bowl with hot, delicious vegetarian soup made by our very own Sadie. Hang with old friends or make new ones! BYO bowl for the ultimate zero-waste community event.

Funds we raise will all go towards providing honorarium for our wonderful speakers and knowledge keepers. Thanks for supporting our amazing network of radical gardening guerrilla guardians of seed sovereignty! (That’s you!)

Soup and Bread Tuesdays - Made with PosterMyWall

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7th Annual Fall Seed Swap is coming!

Save the Date!  The 2018 Hilltown Fall Seed Swap will be Saturday, November 17th from 1-4pm at the Cummington Community House, 33 Main Street!

It’s time again to gather those seeds and share the abundance of future life and food and culture with your friends and neighbors!

seedhand

Come and join us! More details to follow including special guests and presentations.  All are welcome – you do not need to bring seed to attend!  The suggested donation is a sliding scale of $5 – $20.

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Welcome Spring! Annual Hilltown Plant Swap set for May 20th

seedlingsThe Hilltown Seed Saving Network is pleased to announce its seventh annual Spring Plant Swap on Sunday, May 20th from 10:30 to 1:30pm at the Community House in Cummington (33 Main St).  Bring your extra seeds, seedlings and perennial plant divisions to share.  Get new plants for your garden and meet fellow gardeners, seed savers, and pollinator-enthusiasts.  You won’t leave empty handed!

Please note that you don’t have to bring plants to come to this event.  We welcome people at all levels of experience, including those who have never gardened before.

The event will begin at 10:30am.  You will have plenty of time to browse and help yourself to the dozens of home grown varieties of tomatoes, beans, kale, wildflowers, and many other crops, as well as perennial plant divisions including pollinator-friendly and medicinal plants.  If you cannot attend the plant swap but wish to drop off plants, you may do so any time after 10am.

Also, we encourage everyone who is bringing seed to the event to list it online using our Virtual Seed Bank at http://seednetwork.herokuapp.com.  Once you have registered (a quick and easy process), you will be able to browse varieties that other people in the Hilltowns are saving, and perhaps bringing to the Plant Swap.

The suggested donation for this event is a sliding scale of $5 – $10.  For more information contact Sadie at 413- 475- 2692.

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Get into grafting at the first Hilltown Winter Scion Swap!

Dreaming of spring?  Always wanted to grow some fruit?  Get into grafting this year with the Hilltown Seed Saving Network!  Beginning and experienced grafters are all welcome at this event.  You do not need to bring scionwood to attend!  This is a great opportunity to learn from local neighbors and get started in the art of grafting and orchard management.

winterscionswap

 

Alan Surprenant, a local orchardist, will be presenting on scionwood collection and storage and offer tips on grafting at 1:30pm.  He offers local workshops in pruning and grafting at his orchard in Ashfield.  Come learn about grafting and go home with some local scionwood so you too can enjoy the bounty of a home orchard!

What is scionwood?

Scions (pronounced “sigh-ons”) are cuttings from the first year growth on a fruit tree, typically the tips from branches or watersprouts.  Fruit trees do not reproduce themselves in their seeds, but we can multiply our favorite varieties by taking small cuttings and grafting or attaching them onto the branches or rootstocks of other trees in the same family.  The wood gradually heals together and can even become productive sooner as the existing root system feeds the new branch.

How to cut and store your scionwood:

1. In January or February, select a straight stem, pencil size in diameter, from last year’s growth

2. Cut an 8-10″ piece with sharp pruning clippers

3. Label the variety name and wrap in slightly dampened material such as shredded newspaper or paper towels

4. Store in a plastic bag

5. Keep in a cool (not freezing) place such as a refrigerator until you are ready to graft in April or May

Want to learn more?

Check out these resources and you’ll be well on your way to scion success!

  • Video on cutting scionwood by Stephen Hayes
  • An Extension Article from Michigan State University
  • How-To from an Apple Nursery in North Carolina

 

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