Hilltown Seed Exchange Coming November 19th!

The Hilltown Seed Saving Network is pleased to announce its fifth annual Seed Exchange, on Saturday, November 19th from 1:00 to 4:00pm at the Community House in Cummington.  Learn to save your own garden seed, get answers to your seed saving questions, and exchange seed that you’ve saved with your friends and neighbors!

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

The event will begin at 1pm, with demonstrations and activities facilitated by experienced seed savers.  This part of the day is especially for beginning seed savers, but there should be something of interest for everyone.

At 2pm, Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm will speak on not just saving seed, but saving the best seed from a variety of popular garden crops; there will be plenty of time for questions from the audience.  Tevis has been generous enough to share his knowledge with our group from its beginnings, and we are excited to feature him again at this event.

The seed exchange itself will begin at 3:15, and there will be plenty of time to browse and help yourself to the dozens of home grown varieties of tomatoes, beans, kale, wildflowers, and many other crops.  This year, you can come to the Community House as early as 11:45am to drop off seed.

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 bringing to the Seed Exchange.

The suggested donation for this event is a sliding scale of $5 – $10.  For more information, visit hilltownseeds.wordpress.com; or contact Sadie at 413-475-2692, or Michael at 413-358-6919 or alterman@speakeasy.net.

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HSSN Winter Gathering February 21st

The Hilltown Seed Saving Network is extending an invitation to our wider community to attend a Winter social potluck and semi-formal discussion of the future direction of our efforts.

The Spring and Fall annual seed swap events are popular and successful anchors of the HSSN annual calendar.  We all look forward to many more years of organizing these events.  However, after four years, HSSN is considering new directions for its efforts and revisiting some ongoing ideas that have not taken root but may still be viable.  Members of the larger gardening/farming/seed-saving community are strongly encouraged to come forth and help us get a better sense of what’s next.  Topics under current consideration include physical seed banks and seed libraries, the Virtual Seed Bank, outreach, education, community seed-saving projects and others.

FORMAT

1:00 Potluck/socializing/seed browsing

1:40 Opening remarks/state of the HSSN

1:50 Small group discussions

3:00 Takeaways in large group

POTLUCK INFO

Please bring a dish of tapas/munchies/finger food to share.

If possible, include your saved seeds, products thereof or other homegrown ingredients in your dish.

SEEDS

If you  have seeds to share at this time, please bring them.  If you have empty seed envelopes at home, please bring them, too, so you  have containers for collecting your new seeds.

PLEASE JOIN US.  YOUR INPUT IS SO IMPORTANT!

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Annual Seed Saving Network Seed Exchange continues to grow!

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Cummington for the fourth annual Hilltown Seed Saving Network Seed Exchange! Workshop stations gave participants hands-on lessons in seed saving and an engaging lecture by Sylvia Davatz of Solstice Seeds got us all fired up to save seeds. Then, of course, we went wild swapping our stashes for the next season!

We very much look forward to the next annual exchange and to other events before then.

SAVE THE DATE: February 21, 2016

2016 Winter Gathering

We have reserved the Community House for a winter gathering on Sunday, February 21st.

Stay tuned, here for more details.

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Hilltown Seed Exchange Coming November 21st!

The Hilltown Seed Saving Network is pleased to announce its fourth annual Seed Exchange, on Saturday, November 21st from 12 to 3pm at the Community House in Cummington.  Learn to save your own garden seed, get answers to your seed saving questions, and exchange seed that you’ve saved with your friends and neighbors!

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

The event will begin at 12 noon, with hands-on activities facilitated by experienced seed savers.  Get your hands a little dirty, and you may find that saving garden seed can be simple and enjoyable!

At 1pm, Solstice Seeds founder Sylvia Davatz will speak on saving seed from staple crops such as grains, legumes and starchy vegetables.  Sylvia will also take questions from the audience, drawing on her many years of experience as a gardener and seed saver in Hartland, VT.

The seed exchange itself will begin at 2pm, and there will be plenty of time to browse and help yourself to the dozens of home grown varieties of tomatoes, beans, kale, wildflowers, and many other crops.  This year, you can come to the Community House as early as 10:45am to drop off seed.

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 bringing to the Seed Exchange.

The suggested donation for this event is a sliding scale of $5 – $10.  For more information, visit hilltownseeds.wordpress.org; or contact Sadie at 413-475-2692, or Michael at 413-358-6919 or alterman@speakeasy.net.

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Fun February Events

The Hilltown Seed Saving Network is pleased to announce two exciting events coming up in February, both to be held at the Community House, 33 Main Street, Cummington:

On Sunday the 8th from 2 to 4pm, we invite you to join us as we plan seed saving projects for the upcoming growing season.   Have an idea for a project or a skill you want to learn, or just want to see what we’re up to?  Stop by and join us for good company and lively conversation.

On Sunday the 22nd at 3pm, we will be screening the film, Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds, which examines the central role of seeds in our lives, the threat to traditional seed saving posed by GMOs and industrial agriculture, and the work of activists around the globe to protect our rich heritage of seeds.  This event is co-sponsored by The Old Creamery Co-op.

In addition to these two great events, we will be holding a drawing for a $20 Fedco gift certificate to anyone who lists seeds in our Virtual Seed Bank between now and March 15th.  To register and list seeds, come to either event, or visitseednetwork.herokuapp.com.

Please contact Sadie at 413-634-5013, or Michael at 413-358-6919 or alterman@speakeasy.net, with any questions.  We look forward to seeing you in February!

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Seed Exchange Coming November 22nd!

The Hilltown Seed Saving Network is pleased to announce its third annual Fall Seed Exchange, on Saturday, November 22nd at the Community House, 33 Main Street, Cummington.  Learn to save your own garden seed, get answers to your seed saving questions, and exchange seed that you’ve saved with your friends and neighbors!

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

In fact, the main event will be preceded by an introductory seed saving workshop from 1 to 2pm, taught by experienced seed saver Sadie Stull.

The seed exchange itself will run from 2:00 to 5:00 pm (see the detailed schedule of events below), and will include a run down of interesting results from the seed saving projects many of us worked on this summer.  Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm will give a talk on saving seed from biennial vegetables such as beets and carrots, Amy Pulley will discuss saving and propagating wildflower seed, and Lynne Paterson will demonstrate making sprouts.  And, of course, there will be plenty of time to browse and help yourself to the dozens of home grown varieties of tomatoes, beans, kale, wildflowers, and many other crops.

This year, you can come to the Community House as early as 11:30am to drop off seed.  We ask people to refrain from taking seed until 3:15pm; this will give us time to organize and display people’s contributions.  There will be exhibits, presentations, and yummy food to keep you entertained while you are waiting!

Also, we encourage everyone who is bringing seed to the event to list it online using our Virtual Seed Bank here: 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 bringing to the Seed Exchange.

The suggested donation for this event is a sliding scale of $5 – $10.  For more information, visit hilltownseeds.wordpress.org; or contact Sadie at 413-475-2692, or Michael at 413-358-6919 or alterman@speakeasy.net.

Schedule of Events

1:00 to 2:00  For beginners or those who want a refresher:  Take our introductory seed saving workshop, with Sadie Stull.  Sadie is a homesteader, an experienced seed saver, and an engaging teacher.

2:00 to 2:30  Arrive, drop off seeds, have a snack, schmooze.  Check out a seed sprouting exhibit presented by Lynne Paterson, learn how to use our Virtual Seed Bank, and browse information about the Non-GMO Working Group, Raspberry Hill Community Garden, Master Gardeners, and more.

2:30 to 3:15  Gather for a presentation of interesting results of this summer’s seed saving projects, a talk on saving biennial vegetables by Tevis Robertson-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm, a discussion of saving wildflower seed led by Amy Pulley, and a sprouting demonstration by Lynne Paterson .

3:15 to 5:00  Finally!  Have a go at the seed tables–we are expecting dozens of varieties of many different garden crops and wildflower species.  HSSN members will also be around to answer seed saving questions.

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Seed Saving Workshop

Tevis Robertson-Goldberg will be giving a Seed Saving workshop this Saturday, March 22nd, from 12:30-1:15 at the Northampton Winter Farmer’s Market at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton. This event is in association with the Florence Organic Community Garden signups and gardener meeting hosted by Grow Food Northampton as well as a food swap hosted by Valley Food Swap.

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