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Passing along seeds and inspiration

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Education, Seed Saving | 0 comments

Passing along seeds and inspiration

I have been living here at Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa for a week; the headquarters for an amazing non-profit called the Seed Savers Exchange. I am truly humbled and amazed at the dedication, passion and kindness of the people that work and volunteer here. I have learned so much from everyone and made wonderful connections and friendships that I know will live on, much like the seeds and stories we all shared.

The mission of Seed Savers Exchange is to “conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.” As they celebrate their 40th anniversary this year, we should all give thanks to the hard work they’ve devoted to a cause that affects us all.

Every year since the organization began from very humble origins, they’ve gathered their members for an annual conference and campout. The first one back in the 70′s was a small group of the original 12 who joined the founders, Diane and Kent Whealey in Missouri where they lived at the time. This year over 200 people attended; a beautiful and lively mix of long-time members and new ones (like me!) coming from all over the country to gather around our love of seeds and sharing them. It really felt more like a family reunion than a conference!

Melissa with founder Diane Whealey in front of her lush garden. Diane is a wonderful woman of great passion, generosity and vision.

Melissa with founder Diane Whealey in front of her lush garden. Diane is a wonderful woman of great passion, generosity and vision.

Seeds and the people that grow them, share a lot in common. They are both very generous, and give of themselves something that will live beyond the individual. Each plant that goes to seed bears a tremendous gift for the attentive gardener: tens, hundreds or even thousands of seeds from one plant. When we gather those seeds the generosity is passed on to our friends, neighbors and strangers through seed swaps and yearbook exchanges like the one Seed Savers offers. The generosity of gardeners has always struck me as nothing short of amazing. We are eager to share seeds, plants, tools, advice and our time with others.

The thing about people and seeds is that we need each other. Without seeds that grow into food, fiber and flowers, we could not survive. We’ve depended on agricultural crops to feed and clothe us for thousands of years, taking them with us wherever we migrated. Over time they travelled the world and diversified in different climates and cultures, embedding themselves permanently in our lives. In exchange for their use, humans must carefully save their seeds and share them, for the plant to live on. Without stewardship of these plants, they would be unlikely to flourish on their own like their wild relatives. We need them, and they need us.

A unique display at the visitors center showing heirlom seeds and the artwork that beautifully depicts their form.

A unique display at the visitors center showing heirlom seeds and the artwork that beautifully depicts their form.

Sadly, the shift of our agricultural practices to massive operations, as well as the mass exodus from the small family farm and garden to cities, has led to the permanent loss of about 90% of our crop diversity. Let that sink in for a moment. 90% of all the beautiful and varied colors, shapes and unique flavors that fed our ancestors both long ago and just yesterday, are lost forever. That repository of genetic material that took thousands of years to develop, is gone. The secrets held in those tiny seeds that may have helped us adapt to climate change, are gone.  The delicious flavors and textures that could rescue us from the tasteless produce we have easy access to now, are gone.

But not all is lost. Fortunately because of organizations and individuals fighting back around the globe, we still have a safe repository of what’s left of our heirloom vegetable heritage. There is some great work happening with organic breeding that can address the need for seed grown in certain climates under organic conditions. Organic Seed Alliance is a major player in that field. USC Canada does tremendous collaborative work to preserve genetic biodiversity in Canada and across the globe. Then there are individuals like the super cool Greg LeHoullier, aka “the NCTomatoMan” that I had the pleasure of meeting, single-handedly taking on the challenge of breeding new tomato varieties that will be heirlooms of tomorrow. In his driveway, in pots, hundreds of varieties! There are seed libraries popping up all over the world. There is still hope, I saw it and felt it in a powerful way here at the Seed Savers conference. Thank goodness!

Eager tasters at the conference line up to sample numerous carrot and bean varieties being evaluated in test fields at Seed Savers.

Eager tasters at the conference line up to sample numerous carrot and bean varieties being evaluated in test fields at Seed Savers.

Back here at home in Gainesville, Florida we hope to become a meaningful and impactful part of this growing coalition of seed saving, by focusing on the needs of our regional climate and culture. The Southern Heritage Seed Collective that we’ve developed over the past few years with tremendous community support, will take this mission very seriously over the coming years, and we hope you will join us!

 

Summery Seeds

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Featured, Seed Saving, Slider | 0 comments

Summery Seeds

Today was a beautiful day at the farm and we were so lucky to have some lovely people to share it with! As the season winds down for us here at the farm, we are planting cover crop seeds for the summer, replacing the crops that nourished us for the last several months: tomatoes, cucumbers, patty pan squash, watermelon, cushaws, beans and so much more!

Some of our weird experiments this year are still going strong and giving us things to look forward to like the African Horned Melon, a giant 10ft. tall luffah wall, bottle gourds and a some other odds and ends in the legume family.

The Seminole squash are going nuts as they like to do (my all-time favorite thing to grow and eat!), the Everglades tomatoes are heating up now that a real Florida summer is here, and our peppers are starting to produce.

Seminole Pumpkin diversity

Seminole Pumpkin diversity

 

Today we harvested all kinds of goodies that we will enjoy and save seeds from, to offer to our Southern Heritage Seed Collective members next spring. Cosmos, marigolds, zinnias, cowpeas, Seminole squash, Jamaican cushaw, Ali Baba watermelon and Everglades tomato.

The great thing is that we get to share this bounty with our friends and family, empowering them to save seeds too.

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The seed drying room is very busy!

Next week, I am heading off to camp out at the Seed Savers Exchange farm in Decorah, Iowa for two whole weeks! I can’t wait to live and work with some of the most dedicated seed savers in the country and bring back to the south whatever information I can. It is our mission to provide the best possible seeds for our community that thrive in our climate and nourish the body and mind!

Peas out.

School’s Out Festival – June 6th

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

School’s Out Festival – June 6th

Join Forage and First Magnitude Brewing Company on June 6th from 11am-3pm for the Third Annual School’s Out Local Food and Music Festival, a celebration of the beginning of summer and everything that makes our community great.

Great fun for the whole family including bounce houses, arts and crafts, live music, great beer, local food vendors, activities with local organizations, and much more! Enter into the watermelon seed spitting contest to win fun prizes and test your seed-spitting skills or buy a drawing ticket to win one of the many door prizes provided by local businesses and organizations. Bring the whole family but PLEASE leave your pets at home!

Tickets on sale now – 5$ for kids, 10$ for adults, and $30 family pass (2 adults and up to 4 kids)!  Click here to purchase!

Featuring food from:
Humble Pie Gainesville
Sweet Dreams of Gainesville FL.
FED Food Company
The Cookie Parlor
ChewBox Co.
Sara’s Seasonings

Enjoy live music by:

Corporal Captain
Boiling Oil
Endless Pools
Michael Claytor
The Swamp Cats

Parking for event is on Main St – Backstage Lounge and Winn Dixie have offered up their lots.  Please park there and enter the event at the entrance to First Magnitude that is accessible from Main St. It is just South of the 11th Block, and next to Continental Imports.

 

Thanks to our sponsors – First magnitude Brewing Co., Bouncing Big, and Lucky’s Market!

All proceeds benefit Forage Farm’s programming and community efforts. For more information and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/865765470148157/.
Join us June 6th and take a bite out of summer!

Wildflower Field Day May 2nd 11am-2pm

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Events, Featured | 0 comments

Wildflower Field Day May 2nd 11am-2pm

Join us at Forage Farm for a fun and informative day all about native wildflowers and pollinators!

10-11am: Terry Zinn from the Florida Wildflower Cooperative “10 Easy Wildflowers Presentation and Field Walk” followed by a demo of a wildflower seed harvester. Forage planted a wildflower meadow last fall and things are sprouting! See an early successional field and learn how to establish a wildflower garden at home!

11-12pm: Dr. Cory Stanley- Stahr “Wild Pollinators” talk. Learn about the importance of wild pollinators and what you can do to help support their populations.

12-1pm: Wild pollinator house building workshop. Suggested $20 fee, email melissa@foragefarm.orgto reserve your spot. On-site sign ups will be first come first serve depending on materials available.

12-1pm: DIY seed balls with native wildflowers.

Ongoing kids activities: scavenger hunt, painting and more! Wildflower seeds and plants will be for sale, all proceeds benefiting the programs of Forage!

The Farm is located on the beautiful Prairie Creek Preserve -7204 SE CR 234.  Please do not use GPS it is incorrect.  You can find it on google maps, or print the map located here.

 

The Conch March Theme: Gardening and Farming

Posted by on Mar 1, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

The Conch March Theme: Gardening and Farming

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Come join Forage as we partner up with The Conch-Gainesville’s True-storytelling Project, Swallowtail Farm, The Porters Community Garden, and Florida Organic Growers to share our stories on the theme, “Gardening and Farming.” We know we’ve all had those funny, frightening, fun, and freeing times while we’re out doing what we love most: working with dirt and food! Come on out for a great time, some good food, and very relatable stories.

When: Tuesday, March 3rd, 7-9pm

Where: Lightnin’ Salvage (the back area of Satchel’s Pizza)

Visit our partners’ websites here:

Grow Radio

Porters Community Farm
Swallowtail Farm
Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers

Satchel’s Pizza

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Farm to School to Work Program

Posted by on Feb 28, 2015 in Education, Featured, Slider | 0 comments

Farm to School to Work Program

The Alachua County Farm to School to Work Program located at Loften High School is a place where students can learn about the food system by experiencing it. What began as a joint venture between the Food and Nutrition Department (FNS) and the Exceptional Student Education Department (ESE) of the Alachua County Public Schools has grown into a vegetable-producing machine, providing 150 heads of lettuce weekly for use in school salads, as well as a number of other vegetables appearing on the weekly menus. Students are gaining horticultural skills and are able to interact with each other and the community in an empowering way. The Farm to School to Work Hub is working, and students are receiving valuable training in horticulture, food production, food safety, and nutrition.

Forage is proud to be a collaborator on this project. With the support of the community, we can continue to make it bigger, better, and impact even more students and families in an incredible way.

Click here to donate!

Spring and Summer Seed Collection

Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Events, Seed Saving | 0 comments

Spring and Summer Seed Collection

The last seed distribution date is THIS Saturday February 28th

10am-1pm at Highlands Presbyterian Church

This year we’ve done something a little different. To encourage seed saving of rare southern heirlooms, we have provided some great varieties for you to try. However, most of them are not available in sufficient quantity to serve every single member. We ask that if you select one of these, that you take our pledge to try and save seed from it for the next season. Enough for you and enough to give back to our collection. They are all fairly easy seeds to save and we’ll tell you all you need to know in order to do it. This way, we can start proliferating our own local source! We think you will really like these varieties, and the rewards of becoming a seed steward for southern heirlooms. Remember, as you’re planning your garden, only take what you think you will actually plant this season, to ensure everyone gets seeds!

We have cover crop seeds! Try out some Iron Clay Cowpeas available in 1/2lb increments to use as a cover crop this summer. We are asking an additional $1 per 1/2lb.

We have a new greenhouse and got excited about the idea of offering tomatoes and peppers as transplants. This gives you a significant jump-start to the season, for two of the most challenging seeds to start.  Each organically grown 6 pack will be $3. Hooray! This is an experiment and we were unsure of demand, so bear with us as we try this out. Mid to end of March is when we predict they will be ready. We’ll be sure to email you if you’re on our list, and make an announcement on Facebook.

DOWNLOAD AVAILABILITY LIST to see what is still left, and read the detailed descriptions in our SEED CATALOG.

JOIN NOW or join at one of our events below.

Highlands Presbyterian Church is located at 1001 NE 16th Ave. We are in the large main room that is immediately to your right when you walk in the main doors. 

 

Safe Seed Pledge Logo

Forage has signed “The Safe Seed Pledge”!

Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities.”

“I Love Local Food” Week 2015

Posted by on Jan 10, 2015 in Events | 0 comments

“I Love Local Food” Week 2015

Join Forage, Blue Oven Kitchens, Florida Organic Growers, and other members of the Alachua County Nutrition Alliance as we celebrate “I Love Local Food” Week February 14-21st, 2015.  There will be great events, designed to support efforts to build our local food system and to connect you with the resources you need to love making local food a part of your diet and be a part of the “Eat Local Challenge” in May. If you have any questions, want more information about an event, or have an event you would like to add to the line up, please see the contact listed or email Anna at anna@foragefarm.org.

 

 

 

“I Love Local Food” Week Events

 

Saturday, Feb. 14th 

 

Native Pollinators 101 and Bee Box Building

10 am-1 pm at Forage Farm 7204 SE County Road 234

Forage Farm and Alachua Conservation Trust are wild about native pollinators! Come learn about these awesome insects and what you can do to help them thrive! Dr. Cory Stanley-Stahr from the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory will enlighten us, then afterward (if you chose), we’ll head outside to our shop. We’ll have all the fixins for you to build and take home an outdoor wooden nesting box! The talk is free, but if you wish to take home a box, we suggest you donate $20 to the cause. RSVP is a must, reserve your spot now by REGISTERING HERE.

 

Eat Local and Healthy for Your Heart Cooking Demonstration

9:30-10:30 am at the Alachua County Farmers Market, 5920 Northwest 13th Street.

Seasonal Salad and Strawberry Lemonade Cooking Demonstration, hosted by Hogtown HomeGrown and Florida Organic Growers. Join Stefanie Hamblen from Hogtown Homegrown for a cooking demonstration using local fennel, spinach, pecans, lemons, honey, citrus and strawberries. Learn how to use the freshest ingredients available to make healthy, delicious, affordable meals.  The demonstration is free and open to the public. For more information, email hogtownhomegrown@gmail.com or visit www.hogtownhomegrown.com.

 

Local Love Dinner

6-9 pm at The Vine Bread and Pasta 627 N. Main Street

Treat yourself and your valentine to a fresh, local dinner prepared with love by the Farm Kitchen Collective.  All proceeds benefit local non-profits, Blue Oven Kitchens and Forage. Tickets $40, for more information email anna@foragefarm.org. You may REGISTER HERE! Limited spaces available, get your ticket before it’s too late!

 

Mushrooms for Food and Medicine Workshop

Sunday February 15, 4pm, Little Orange Creek Nature Park, Hawthorne

Join Mycol Stevens and Oliver Moore in a two-day mushroom intensive following the Florida Earth Skills Gathering. The intensive will cover the basics of what mushrooms are, how they are made, their physical and chemical attributes and their function as food and medicine. Mushroom identification will be a large part of the course and cultivation techniques will be introduced. To register and find out more information, visit www.floridaearthskills.org/intensives.

 

Sunday, Feb. 15th

 

Community Gleaning, hosted by Gainesville Harvest.

Have trees bending under the weight of fresh fruit you don’t need? Have a garden brimming with veggies and not sure how to use all the bounty in your yard?  Or, perhaps you want to help glean from local yards around town to donate to families in need? Either way, contact Pat Abbitt at abbitp@radiology.ufl.edu, and let her know how you can help!

 Cinema Verde Film Festival 

The Cinema Verde Film Festival has several food-themed films in its amazing line up!  Check out “Just Eat It” at Noon, “Of The Land” at 1:30 pm,  Terra Firma at 6pm, or Food Chains at 7:30 on February 15th!  See the full line up and get more information on tickets and locations at www.cinemaverde.org.

Monday, Feb. 16th     

 

Vegetable Garden Seed Distribution

6-8 pm at Highlands Presbyterian Church 1001 NW 16th Ave.

Join the Southern Heritage Seed Collective and get locally saved seed and the best varieties for our region to start your spring garden.

 

Tuesday, Feb. 17th  

 

Porter’s Community Farm Volunteer Workday

8am-12 pm at 518 SW 3rd Street.  

Join fellow community members to help Florida Organic Growers grow fresh, healthy veggies for the local community and for the St. Francis House Shelter. For more information, email van@foginfo.org or visit www.foginfo.org

 

Frog Song Organics Special Farm Tour for Chefs

3pm at Frog Song Farm, 4317 NE US Highway, Hawthorne, FL

This farm tour is open to professional chefs. Reservations are required by emailing frogsongorganics@gmail.com with your name and business contact information by 2/15/15

 

Wednesday, Feb. 18th

 

Eat Local and Healthy for Your Heart Cooking Demonstrations

4:00-5:00pm at the Union Street Farmers Market 111 East University Ave.

Cabbage Stir Fry recipe will be demonstrated and samples provided as the UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program share how to grocery shop smarter, use nutrition information to make healthy choices, and cook delicious, affordable meals with local ingredients. This demonstration is free and open to the public. For more information about the Family Nutrition Program visit http://fycs.ifas.ufl.edu/Extension/HNFS/FNP/.

5:30-6:30pm at the Union Street Farmers Market 111 East University Ave.

Seasonal Salad and Strawberry Lemonade Cooking Demonstration, hosted by Hogtown HomeGrown and Florida Organic Growers. Join Stefanie Hamblen from Hogtown Homegrown for a cooking demonstration using local fennel, spinach, pecans, lemons, honey, citrus and strawberries. Learn how to use the freshest ingredients available to make healthy, delicious, affordable meals.  The demonstration is free and open to the public. For more information, email hogtownhomegrown@gmail.com or visit www.hogtownhomegrown.com.

 

Vegetable Garden Seed Distribution

4-7 pm at Union Street Farmers Market 111 East University Ave.

Join the Southern Heritage Seed Collective and get locally saved seed and the best varieties for our region to start your spring garden.

 

Thursday, Feb. 19th

 

Host a local food potluck!

Any meal time at your home, a local park, or your office break room.

Challenge your friends, neighbors, and/or colleagues to prepare a dish with local products, and enjoy a meal together!              

 

Friday, Feb. 20th

 

Local Food Tasting Night

4:30-7:30 pm at First Magnitude Brewing Company –  1220 Southeast Veitch Street.

Join Blue Oven Kitchens, Forage and First Magnitude to try a taste of North Florida as we sample everything from pickles to chocolate made by local food entrepreneurs.  For more information on how to be a vendor at the Tasting, contact Anna at anna@foragefarm.org.

 

Saturday, Feb. 21st

 

Seed Starting Workshop

10-11:30 am at the Downtown Farmers Garden – 12 SE 1st. St.

Florida Organic Growers and Forage will teach you how to grow garden plants from seed. They will review the basic concepts you need to be successful, while demonstrating two techniques: soil blocking and using trays/cells. The workshop is free. For more information contact Melissa, melissa@foragefarm.org

 

French Cooking Class 

11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Alachua County Extension Office – 2800 NE 39th Ave.

Charmes de la France, and the UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Office are hosting a French cooking class showcasing seasonal delights from French regional cuisine. Run by French Chef Michel Maloiseau, the cooking classes include step-by-step recipes that are followed by tasting sessions. Reservations must be made on the Charmes de la France website. The class fee is $45.00 per person.

Seeds, Skills and Classes for 2015!

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Education, Events, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Seeds, Skills and Classes for 2015!

Free Compost Workshop

Saturday January 10, 2015 from 10am-12pm 

Downtown Farmers Garden, 12 SE 1st. St. On the SW corner of the Alachua County Administration Building lawn. Near Main St. and University Ave.

Learn the principles of composting, like how to make black garden gold in under 2 months, the tools you can use, 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 to use earthworms to assist your composting efforts. Led by Chris Cano of Gainesville Compost. For more information contact Van Tran, van@foginfo.org.

Free Beginning with Herbal Medicine Workshop

Monday January 19, 2015 from 7-9pm

Highlands Presbyterian Church, 1001 NE 16th Ave.

Every month, on the “3rd Monday”, a gathering occurs where local knowledge is shared. This month, we are excited to learn about herbal medicine from our own local expert, Susan Marynowski. For more information contact Faith Carr, faithccarr@yahoo.com.

Earthskills Gathering

February 5-8, 2015 

Little Orange Creek Nature Park, about 1.3 miles east of Hawthorne, FL, on Hwy 20.

Not to be missed, the annual Florida Earthskills Gathering is even closer to home this year! The gathering is a unique blend of enthusiasts who bring abundant skills and a great spirit of co-creation. The time is ripe for modern, “civilized” humans to become more ecologically aware, to reclaim the true meaning of sustainability, and to help grow a culture of thriving which can only be achieved by living in symbiosis with each other and with our beloved Earth. Workshops and intensives go on all weekend. Check out the website for more information.

Native Pollinators 101 and Bee Box Building Workshop

Saturday February 14, 2015

Forage Farm/Prairie Creek Lodge. 7204 SE CR 234. 10-1pm.

Celebrate this international day of love by learning about our beloved native pollinators! Join us as we learn about these awesome creatures, and what we can all do to help them thrive. Followed by a hands on bee habitat building workshop, you will take home your very own native pollinator bee box! Workshop is free, but if you’d like to take home your own pollinator house, a suggested donation of $20 is requested.

RSVP required to Melissa: melissa@foragefarm.org

I Love Local Food Week

February 15-22, 2015 

Join Forage, Blue Oven Kitchens, Florida Organic Growers, and other members of the Alachua County Nutrition Alliance for an exciting line up of events to celebrate local food! The Southern Heritage Seed Collective will be distributing spring and summer seeds; we will host a garden planting downtown; you can get a taste of local food and brews at a local food expo, and more! Check out the events! 

Free Seed Starting Workshop

Saturday February 21, 2015 from 10am-12pm 

Downtown Farmers Garden, 12 SE 1st. St. On the SW corner of the Alachua County Administration Building lawn. Near Main St. and University Ave.

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 and Melissa DeSa of Forage Farm. For more information contact Melissa, melissa@foragefarm.org

Spring and Summer Seeds Distribution

Monday February 16th, 6-8pm, Wednesday February 18th, 4-7pm and Saturday February 28th, 10am-1pm

If you’re not part of the Southern Heritage Seed Collective yet, what the hek are you waiting for? This is your chance for a great selection of seeds that are adaptable to our region and some of them are even locally grown! For $25 a year, you get access to two gardening season’s worth of seeds. Sign up now, or sign up there. On the 16th we’ll be at Highlands Presbyterian Church (1001 NE 16th Ave); on the 18th we’ll at the downtown Union Street Farmers Market; on the 28th we’re back at Highlands Presbyterian Church.

For more information contact Melissa, melissa@foragefarm.org

Free Spring Gardening Workshop

Saturday March 7, 2015 from 2-3:30 pm 

Downtown Farmers Garden, 12 SE 1st. St. On the SW corner of the Alachua County Administration Building lawn. Near Main St. and University Ave.

Learn about what and how to grow for our spring and summer season in north Florida. Led my Melissa DeSa and Travis Mitchell of Forage Farm. For more information contact Melissa, melissa@foragefarm.org

Free Integrated Pest Management Workshop

Monday March 16, 2015 from 7-9pm

Highlands Presbyterian Church, 1001 NE 16th Ave.

Every month, on the “3rd Monday”, a gathering occurs where local knowledge is shared. This month, we are excited to learn about the principles and practices of integrated pest management. Think first before you attack those garden pests, and learn how to work with beneficials for a more harmonious garden ecosystem. For more information contact Faith Carr, faithccarr@yahoo.com.

Free Garden Pests Workshop

Saturday April 25, 2015 from 2-3:30 pm 

Downtown Farmers Garden, 12 SE 1st. St. On the SW corner of the Alachua County Administration Building lawn. Near Main St. and University Ave.

Good, bad or both? As gardeners we need to know who our visitors are and what to do about them organically, if they’re a problem. We’ll explore the garden to look for common insects and arachnids, and discuss some of the more common ones. Bring any samples you have and we’ll help you identify them. The best way to humanely preserve a bug is to put it in the freezer. Then put it in a container that won’t crush it, and bring it to us! For more information contact Van, van@foginfo.org

Wildflower Field Day at Forage Farm

Saturday May 2, 2015

Held at Forage Farm/Prairie Creek Lodge; 7204 SE CR 234 Gainesville, FL 32635

Join us for a fun day of learning about Florida wildflowers, and how you can plant your own wildflower garden! We’ll tour the farm looking at our newly planted 3/4 acre wildflower meadow, with expert Terry Zinn of the Flower Wildflower Cooperative. Seeds and plants for sale. For more information contact Anna, anna@foragefarm.org

Free Seed Saving Workshop

Saturday May 16, 2015 from 10am-12pm 

Downtown Farmers Garden, 12 SE 1st. St. On the SW corner of the Alachua County Administration Building lawn. Near Main St. and University Ave.

Saving seed was once a common practice among gardeners and farmers, a cultural heritage going back since our ancestors cultivated the first wild crops thousands of years ago. Seeds were saved and shared generously and passed down over generations, because livelihoods depended on it. It is now by and large a lost art, but one that remains critical to our resilience in the face of corporate seed control and climate change. By re-gaining our ability to properly save seed, we not only break free from our dependence on large seed companies, but we also start selecting for varieties that perform well in our climate, taste good, and resist diseases. In this workshop we’ll review basic concepts, terminology and techniques you need to know to be well on your way to seed sovereignty! Led by Melissa of Forage Farm. For more information contact Melissa, melissa@foragefarm.org

Southern Heritage Seed Collective

Posted by on Dec 31, 2014 in Education, Seed Saving, Slider | 0 comments

Southern Heritage Seed Collective

SHSC-Logo-MainForage-Color

This is your local seed collective! Look no further for your seed needs; we’ve got a wide selection of vegetable, herb and flower seeds that do well in our region. Modestly started with the help of various community organizations and individuals four years ago, we have grown to be a local hub for seed. We make bulk orders of seed twice a year from companies we trust, offering mostly open-pollinated and organic seeds, never any GMO’s. We have started collecting our own seed from the farm and other growers, which is an exciting way to start adapting our edible crops to be more north Florida savvy. These bulk quantities of seeds are re-packaged into quantities sufficient for a home gardener, and distributed to over 300 individuals and organizations every year. School gardens, community gardens and others have joined the collective. It’s a great deal financially, takes the guess work out of selecting the right varieties for our region, connects you to numerous other gardeners and resources, supports our small local non-profit business, and brings us closer to taking back control of the most fundamental element of our food system: seeds!

Sign up online today! You may also sign up the day of our seed distributions, which will be announced soon!

For more information, contact Melissa. melissa@foragefarm.org