Organic Seed Savers Workshop for Enthusiastic San Juan County Farmers

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Cathleen McCluskey, one of our recent guests, was on island to help conduct an Organic Seed Savers workshop. She graciously gave us permission to post this entry from the OSA Seed Broadcast blog:
 
 
“Frost covered the roads on the late fall morning of OSA’s Seed Saving Workshop for Gardeners and Farmers, held Monday at Skagit Valley Community College/WSU Extension on San Juan Island. The workshop is designed for folks of all seed saving knowledge levels from novice to old hat and, along with other organizationally created courses, is presented by OSA staff throughout the year. OSA executive director, Micaela Colley, presented this basic Seed Saving Workshop 101 course to a captive participatory audience of over twenty San Juan County farmers and gardeners.

“Participants spent the morning in classroom learning the basics about seed, including a brief history of seed in agriculture, basic genetics, the difference between open pollinated and hybrid varieties, usage patents, planting dates, crops best suited for the bioregion, harvesting methods, equipment, and drying techniques. Folks spent the last portion of the day learning to winnow carrot and cilantro seeds outside in the afternoon sun. Colley answered pertinent questions throughout the day and reminded folks that several publications (including a Seed Saving for Gardeners and Farmers manual) are available for free download from the OSA website.

“San Juan County resource-focused community organizers are exploring the county’s potential for seed production as a niche market. Islanders are no strangers to geographic isolation, and many see this natural barrier as an opportunity to produce seed for market, which requires isolation distances. “San Juan County farmers want to develop a seed industry and they are strong believers in organic production methods. This workshop really met their needs. I know that some folks will now come onboard, and those already saving seed got a boost of fresh and useful information,” WSU Extension Ag Program coordinator, Candace Jagel, remarked after the workshop.”
Note from the editor: Casual gardeners and enthusiastic farmers should plan to attend the 2012 Organic Seed Growers Conference on January 19 – 21, 2012.

Registration Now Open! Don’t miss the 2012 Organic Seed Growers Conference on January 19-21, 2012. Learn more and register today.

 

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