First off, we’ve re-named our “seed library” to the Southern Heritage Seed Collective! We’re excited about the new name, as it reflects the continued growth and direction of our little seed collective . We’re aiming to include more regionally adapted seed to our collection, including old fashioned southern heirlooms, while working with community partners to help us grow the heirlooms of tomorrow. Seed sovereignty is a community effort and we can’t do it alone!
We are excited for our annual fall garden seed distribution in September and a community seed swap in October! Below are the event dates as well as a listing of the seeds we’ll have. If you are not a member, you can sign up online ahead of time OR just come to one of the distributions. Your annual suggested donation of $20, provides access to a wide selection of vegetable, herb and flower seeds for your fall/winter Florida garden, and then again for your spring/summer garden next year. We select varieties that we know work well here, taking the guess work out of variety selection. The seed distribution days are always a lot of fun, and a great way to meet fellow gardeners.
This year we are trying a new Community Seed Program, modeled after another seed library. Anyone interested in learning to save seeds can sign up to grow one of our select crops, and we’ll guide you through the process. This season’s featured crops are any of our peas, as well as the Anuenue lettuce. We will communicate with you mostly through email to offer updates and tips throughout the growing season, and encourage you to ask questions along the way. There is no pressure, we know sometimes life and nature get in the way of a successful crop. If you are able to save seed, we suggest it is allocated as follows: 1/3 for you next year, 1/3 for a neighbor or friend and 1/3 goes back to us. The seed you donate to us will go to donation programs locally for school and community gardens. We’ve purposefully selected relatively easy to save seeds! There is limited quantity for the yellow peas and lettuce, so only a handful of people will gain access.
Saturday Sept. 6th from 10am-1pm @ Highlands Presbyterian Church
Wednesday Sept. 10th from 4-7pm @ Union Street Farmers Market in downtown Gainesville
Monday Sept. 15th from 6-8pm @ Highlands Presbyterian Church
Please note that while we do have many seeds, some tend to run out. It’s all first come, first serve so please be understanding if certain varieties have run out.
The community seed Swap will be held on Saturday Oct. 18th from 1-4pm @ Highlands Presbyterian Church. Bring any seeds you have that are extras you’ve purchased or saved, to share with others. While you’re there check out other seeds folks are sharing. Please, only bring seeds of good quality.
- Seeds less than 5 years old
- Seeds that have been stored in good condition, i.e. cool and dry like a refrigerator or at least a stable climate out of the heat and light.
- If they are seeds you’ve saved yourself, be sure they are not potentially cross-pollinated or of reduced genetic quality. Ask us and we’d be delighted to help you figure this out! You can also read up on seed saving basics HERE.
More information about the seed swap will be posted soon. Please note that it is in partnership with the monthly Gainesville Area Barter Group. Check out their Facebook page for more info, maybe you can barter some other stuff while you’re there!
Highlands Presbyterian Church is located at 1001 NE 16th Ave. Gainesville.
Forage is embarking on an ambitious effort to expand our seed library to help protect seed varieties specifically adapted to our region, train community members and local farmers on seed saving techniques and include much more locally-saved seed in our seed collection!
We need your help to develop our seed library which will play a critical role for our local food and gardening community to protect the resources that we need for a sustainable and healthy food system – our seeds. In the face of climate change and worries over seed production, ownership, and quality globally, we are slowly taking charge of our seed resources by encouraging proper seed saving techniques and providing more locally-adapted seed diversity.
Join us to make this dream of protecting our seed diversity and educating about sustainable gardening and food security a reality! Click here to make a tax deductible donation to Forage with our safe, easy online Paypal account or contact Anna to learn more about supporting this effort – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come join Forage Farm to celebrate what’s great about our community on June 7th from 11am-5pm! Live music from great local bands, local food vendors – Sweet Dreams, Humble Pie, Simply Divine – arts and crafts, games, nature walks, , water fun, and more! All proceeds from event benefit Forage outreach programs and the Gainesville Seed Library!
Our Line Up:
Improper Contra Band
Nook and Cranny
Tickets available online – http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/694272 and at the door – $8 for Kids, $10 for Adults. Kids under 3 are free. All proceeds support Forage Farm outreach programs and the Gainesville Seed Library. For more information, email email@example.com.
The event will be held at Forage Farm and Prairie Creek Conservation Area Lodge - 7204 SE County Road 234…just a hop, skip and jump from Gainesville.
Join us on Tuesday June 3rd, at 7:30 PM for a screening of a documentary that tells the important story of seeds! Afterward we will share what Forage is doing in the community to secure our own seeds, and promote a seed saving culture among gardeners and farmers. Tickets are going fast, get yours now by clicking this link, where you can also see the trailer.
Come join Forage as part of the 1st Annual Sow It Grows Farm Tour next Sunday, May 4th from 9am – 5pm.
For More on the Farm Tour, here is a description and a link to the tour guide:
In partnership with the newly developing group of the Florida Small Farms Alliance, Florida Organic Growers and friends bring you the 1st annual Sow it Grows Farm Tour, to be held on May 3 and 4, 2014 in the Gainesville, Florida area. The creation of this farm tour is with the intention to better connect farmers and consumers, increase the capacity of the local farming community, and to create a more viable and vibrant local food system. Visitors are able to see the reality of where their food comes from and what life is like on sustain- able, small farms. The hope is that the relationships built from these interac- tions will translate to a more informed and lasting customer base.
Due to weather we are cancelling the film at the farm for Saturday, May 3rd. We will re-schedule it this Fall. In the mean time, we hope you will join us for School’s Out Festival June 7th from 11-5. Great local bands, fun activities for kids, delicious local food and beer. For more info, check back here!
Our spring seed distribution events are now over, but it’s not too late to still access the seeds and get growing! We have run out of some seeds, but still have plenty left. Contact Melissa via email to coordinate a time to pick up seeds. firstname.lastname@example.org
Seed Saving 101 Tuesday Jan. 28 7-9PM at the downtown library headquarters, meeting room A
Saving seed has become a lost art, but one that remains critical to our own success as individual gardeners and as a community of growers and eaters striving for self-reliance. By learning to save seed, we not only break free from our dependence on large seed companies, but we also begin cultivating varieties that perform well in our climate. In this workshop we’ll review the basic concepts of seed saving that will start you down the path to saving your own seeds. Warning: seed saving can be addictive! Led by Melissa DeSa of Forage Farm.
Kombucha and Water Kefir Tuesday Feb. 4 7-9PM at Blue Oven Kitchens, 1323 South Main St.
Learn how to make two delicious probiotic drinks at home, kombucha and water kefir. They’re easy, let us show you how! Kombucha, a traditionally fermented tea hailed as the “immortal health elixir” is loaded with beneficial microorganisms for your gut, as is water kefir, a delicious fizzy probiotic beverage, both with a vast spectrum of flavor possibilities. Through this demonstration and tasting workshop you’ll learn the basics to do it yourself at home. Instructors will try to provide enough cultures for students to take home. Led by Melissa DeSa of Forage Farm and Corrine Engelgau. RSVP a must as space is limited. Email Melissa: email@example.com.
Seed Starting Saturday Feb. 22 10-11:30AM at the Downtown Farmers Garden (see address details below)
Learning how to grow your own garden plants from seed is a valuable skill that opens you up to a much wider range of plants, not just those available at local stores. In this workshop, we’ll review the basic concepts you need to be successful, while demonstrating two techniques: soil blocking and using trays/cells. Lead by Travis Mitchell of Florida Organic Growers and Melissa DeSa of Forage Farm.
Seed Saving 101 March 8 10AM-1PM at the Prairie Creek Lodge and Forage Farm, 7204 SE CR 234 Gainesville
See above, same description
Growing Cut Flowers Saturday March 29th 10-11:30AM at the Downtown Farmers Garden (see address details below)
There are so many reasons to love flowers! When we’re around them, enjoying their beauty and fragrance, we feel better and we’re happier! Flowers invite pollinators to the garden which is always a good thing, and flowers make for a stunning landscape. In this workshop, we’ll review the varieties of flowers and herbs that do well in Florida as cuts and how to grow them. If local flowers are available, we’ll also review basic arrangement skills to turn your stems into elegant bouquets. Led by Melissa DeSa of Forage Farm.
Pollinator Class and Native Bee House Building Saturday May 17th 10AM-1PM at Forage Farm, 7204 SE CR 234 Gainesville
Join us at Forage Farm, home to a host of native pollinators and a great place to learn about the best ways to attract them and protect them. We will discuss the basics about our native pollinators in Florida and have a hands-on native bee house building activity. You will be outdoors, so please bring a sun hat, sunscreen, bug repellant if you wish, and wear close-toed shoes. Bring water and snacks. Talks led by UF professionals, house building by Melissa and Anna of Forage Farm. Please RSVP to Melissa, firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a small fee to cover the costs of materials.
Seed Saving 101Saturday May 24 10-11:30AM at the Downtown Farmers Garden
See above, same description.
Common Garden Pests May 31 10-11:30AM at the Downtown Farmers Garden (see address details below)
The warm weather and approaching summer rains mean that you are likely to see an increase of pests in your garden. In this workshop we’ll cover how to identify some common vegetable garden pests and organic methods for control. Bring pictures and or specimens from your garden and we will try to identify and help you come up with solutions. Led by Travis Mitchell of Florida Organic Growers.
Composting Saturday August 30 10-11:30AM at the Downtown Farmers Garden (see address details below)
Learn the principles of making black garden gold in under 2 months from kitchen waste. In this workshop, you will learn what tools are needed to properly compost; one secret to kickstart a new compost pile that can save you 3 to 6 months; how to make the most of finished compost in your garden; and how you can use earthworms to assist your composting efforts. Led by Chris Cano of Gainesville Compost, a bike-powered local compost business.
Raised Bed Organic Gardening Saturday Sept. 27 10-11:30AM at the Downtown Farmers Garden (see address details below)
Led by Travis Mitchell of Florida Organic Growers. More info coming soon.
The Downtown Farmers Garden is located on the Alachua County Administration Building lawn, 12 SE 1st St. It is on the SW corner of the lawn. If you were enjoying a gelato or at Emiliano’s for tapas, looking across the street, you’d see the garden tucked up near the building.
This spring, in addition to our vast offerings of seeds from the Seed Library, we’re teaming up with our friends at Firefly Farm to offer you discounted, heirloom veggies, herbs and flower starts! These are heirlooms tried and tested for our Florida climate. Firefly Farm is offering a discounted rate from their regular retail pricing, AND a portion of each sale will be donated to Forage!
Plant pick up will be Wednesday March 19th at the downtown Farmers Market. Pre-orders must be in by January 17th, 2014.
Option 1: Print and mail your completed form and a check.
Option 2: Email your completed form to Kathleen and either mail a check or pay online using PayPal (sent to Kathleen’s email).
Our garden seed list is finally here! Stay tuned for the full document with all the details of each seed. But for now this list gives you an idea of what we have so you can plan your garden. Some seed is limited and will be on a first come, first serve basis. We also have a few fall/winter leftovers not listed so just ask if you’re dying for more kale or lettuce, we probably have it.
Seed Distribution Dates and Locations:
Wednesday Feb. 5th 4-7pm at the downtown farmers market; Saturday Feb. 8th 10am-1pm at Highlands Presbyterian Church, 1001 NE 16th Ave. Tuesday Feb. 11th 5-8pm at Highlands Presbyterian Church, 1001 NE 16th Ave.
How to join the Seed Library community:
Just fill out a simple application and payment, you decide snail mail or electronic. OR just come to a distribution and sign up.
Grow GainesvilleApplication (snail mail paper application and check)
Online application and PayPal payment (fast, easy, safe)
We are so grateful and full of thanks this holiday for the wonderful community we call home! Thank you for selling out our holiday gift sets! We hope you love them as much as we do, and appreciate your contribution to our mission! If you missed yours, be sure to think of us next holiday season and get your gift early.
Much love, Anna and Melissa
Gift Set Description:
Looking for a special gift for your friends and family, or way to say thank you to important clients or employees? Make a strong statement about your commitment to our local economy and sustainability with a Forage gift set! Each gift features items custom-made for you by local artisans, using our very own farm products and crafted with love and mindfulness of their impact.
Each set includes: Moksa Organics Forage Farm soap, Forage Farm herb blend, Forage Farm tea, Illegal Jam Company persimmon roselle butter, a handmade holiday ornament, and a note card set featuring Florida’s natural beauty from local photographer Katherine Edison.
Gift sets will be ready starting December 18th for pick-up, and cost $30 + tax. We can deliver in the local Gainesville area Dec 18-21 for $5-$10, depending on location. Each gift set will be beautifully packaged in an eco-friendly gift bag and a gift card. A portion of each gift supports the outreach and education programs of Forage. Order deadline is December 9th. To order your gift now, or for more information, email Anna, email@example.com. You may pay online by using the PayPal link below, or mail a check to us:
Forage, Inc. PO Box 358256 Gainesville, FL 32635.