HSSN Spring Plant Swap

When you save seeds, it is easy to grow many plants and share in the abundance!  Join us on Sunday, May 21st for our annual plant swap.

HSSN Spring Plant Swap
Sunday, May 21st, 2023 at 1-3pm
Village Church
32 Main St, Cummington, MA 01026

Bring plants, cuttings, divisions, seeds or anything else garden related. 

This is a great opportunity to share your excess starts and build community resilience, all while spending some quality time with your gardening friends from the Hilltown Seed Saving Network.

Everyone is welcome and you don’t have to bring a plant to come.  If you are bringing plants, please be sure to label them with relevant info. 

Some plants may be loose or need to be divided up from flats, so it will be helpful to bring containers to transport plants home.

A suggested donation for this event is $5 – $10, but any donation is greatly appreciated and no one will be turned away.  See you at the Plant Swap!

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Scion Swap Update – New Time

Important Scion Swap Update!

Due to unforeseen Circumstances, we need to change the start time for the Grafting workshop and Scion Swap.

Please note the new start time: 2pm

The good news is the program is still happening.
We have scions…
and the rootstocks have arrived!

So please update your calendar, tell your friends, and we’ll see you on the weekend.

Grafting Workshop & Scion Swap

Saturday, March 25th
From 2 pm – 4:30 pm

Village Church
32 Main St, Cummington, MA 01026

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Grafting Workshop & Scion Swap

Saturday, 3/25 at 1 pm-3:30 pm
Village Church
32 Main St, Cummington, MA 01026

It is time once again for the annual Hilltown Seed Savers Scion Swap.  Co-sponsored with Grown in Westhampton, this year’s event will include a grafting workshop taught by orchardist, Alan Suprenant of Brook Farm Orchard

Those interested can graft and take home their own tree.

There are a limited number of trees for grafting, first come first served. Grafters will be required to sign a waiver prior to participating in the program.  This year we will be working with Bud 118 Rootstock.  Bud 118 is a cold hardy semi-dwarf rootstock.  Be sure to arrive early if you would like to participate in the hands-on component of this program.

Because of the many costs associated with running a program like this, we will be asking for donations to help defray some of our costs.  A suggested donation of $5-25 will make a difference.  Your support allows us to bring you great programing year after year. 

Although we will only be grafting apples, scions for all types of fruits will be available at the swap.  Typically, we have scions for apple, pear, peach, plum, and cherry.  You do not have to bring scionwood to attend.

Meet new and old friends alike and have fun learning more about grafting and the many cultivars that can be added to your home orchard.

This program is supported in part by grants from the Plainfield, Cummington, Chesterfield and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

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Save the date: March 25th

Scion Swap and Grafting Workshop!

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Hilltown Fall Seed Exchange

Saturday, November 19th
1:00pm – 3:00pm
Cummington Community House
33 Main Street, Cummington, MA

Join us on Saturday, November 19th for the annual seed swap with the Hilltown Seed Saving Network!  We’ll have vegetable seeds, medicinal seeds, flower seeds and more.  We encourage you to bring your favorite seeds to share with the community!   

If you have seeds to share, please be sure to label them with variety information along with the date they were collected.  Feel free to add any other useful information as well.

It will be a fun day spent with your gardening friends. 

This event is all about sharing both knowledge and seeds in order to build a more resilient community.  It is free and open to the public.  You do not have to bring seeds in order to participate.  All are welcome.

Although the event is free, we will have a donation box out for those that would like to help support our organization. Funds collected have a major impact on what we can do.  They allow us to obtain new interesting seed selections and seed saving supplies.  In addition, we utilize donations to cover the cost of speakers for our educational programs.

Special Thanks
This year lots of new seeds have been added into the HSSN seed library, thanks to two very generous donors:  The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company and Pinetree Garden Seeds

Upon receiving our request for support, they sent us a wide variety of seed and all we had to do was cover to cost of shipping.  Donations like these allow us to keep our seed stock fresh.  In addition, we gain value from the diversity of new seed selections.  This expansion of our seed library affords us the opportunity to discover new seeds that may be especially well suited to our area.  As our climate changes, it is important to always be trialing a wide variety of seeds.  Testing out new varieties can be a lot of fun and we encourage it.

Admit it, sometimes we get set in our ways and stick with our tried and true varieties of seed.  We each have our favorites, but it is worth the effort to expand our horizons and seek out new types of seed.  How many types of seed are there?  A lot more than you might expect!  If you are looking for a fun read, get yourself a copy of the Baker Creek Whole Seed Catalog.  It’s huge!  Over 500 pages all dedicated to seeds.  They also offer a smaller free version of their catalog.  Pinetree has a free catalog as well.  Pinetree’s Seed Catalog can be viewed online.

Volunteers & Setup
As always, we can use your help prior to our seed swap event.  Setting up is an easy process that goes quickly with the help of a few volunteers. 

We’ll be setting up on the day of the event starting at 12 noon. 
If you can come and help out, we’d greatly appreciate it.

We are excited for this years seed exchange and we hope you will be able to join us, whether you are an experienced gardener or just starting out. 

 See you at the swap! 

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Hilltown Seed Saving Network Plant Swap

Welcome in the spring with us by offering and exchanging plants within our community!

Plant Swap
Saturday, May 21st, 10 AM to 1 PM, rain or shine at the Village Church, 32 Main Street, Cummington.

Set up begins at 9 AM, feel free to drop plants off early, or to join in the preparations.

This is a free event and all are welcome to attend (even if you do not have plants to bring).

Donations are always appreciated!

The Hilltown Seed Saving Network is a volunteer-run organization, and relies entirely on donations in order to host events. We appreciate your generosity.

Hope to see you there!

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3rd Winter Scion Swap comes to Westhampton

The Hilltown Winter Scion Swap is coming!

Save the date! Our 2020 Winter Scion Swap will be held on Sunday, March 8th from 1-3:30 at the Westhampton Library


Our speaker this year is Matt Kaminisky of Gnarly Pippins –  cider maker, grower, writer and expert in all things apple – cultivated and wild! Matt’s approach forges thoughtful connections; he highlights climate change as the biggest threat to the future of apples, and education as the key to growing and expanding the food economy.   Matt will share with us his passion for building resilient orchards and incorporating wild and unique varieties.  He will demonstrate basic grafting techniques and take questions.

Followed by a swap of local scionwood!

Beginning and experienced grafters are welcome. You do not have to bring scionwood to attend – this is a great opportunity to get started – or deepen your knowledge and share grafting experiences.

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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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

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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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