Tag Archives: seed savers exchange

VABF Conference Wrap

VABF John Boyd
John Boyd of the National Black Farmers Association

Last weekend I got to attend my first Virginia Biological Farming Conference, not just as a participant, but as part of the team making it happen, the Tradeshow Coordinator. If you have any interest in organic farming/gardening, I highly recommend going next year. There were fascinating talks on a wide range of topics, great exhibits from a variety of vendors and organizations, and the food was unbelievable.

Some highlights:

  • Southern Exposure teamed up with Seed Savers Exchange for an all day special seed saving pre-conference workshop. I had to duck in and out while setting up for the exhibits, but I still learned so much!
  • Nazirakh Amen of Purple Mountain Organics gave a talk about his rice farming project on University of DC land. In addition to being a farmer and tool vendor, Nazirakh is a Chinese medical practitioner with extraordinary insights to impart.
  • Rodger Lenhardt of Norm’s Farms brought his fabulous elderberry products. He traded us some syrup (great against coughs and as an immune-booster) and jam, and I now have three little elderberry sticks on my windowsill happily sprouting roots.

    Rodger Lenhardt with his elderberry wares
    Rodger Lenhardt with his elderberry wares
  • Debbie Roos of the NC Cooperative Extension got me all fired up about pollinators and what we can do to attract and protect them. Look for pollinator blog posts soon!
  • Did I mention the food? The food alone was worth going to this conference for. There were contributions from local farms at every meal, but best of all was the giant pot luck lunch. Let’s just say I regretted that I was wearing a corset.

    So much yummy food!
    So much yummy food!

Upcoming Pre-Conference Seed Saving Event at VABF

threshing okra

Seed Saving School!

40th Anniversary Regional Seed Savers Exchange Meet and Seed Swap

Thursday, January 28, 2016, 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Virginia Association for Biological Farming Conference, in Smith Mountain Lake, VA.

Register Now: vabf.org/conference/seed-saving-school/

Join us for this one-day seed saving pre-conference intensive to celebrate 40 years of Seed Savers Exchange members working together to preserve the diversity in our food crops through saving heirloom seeds!

  • Learn more about the importance of using open-pollinated seeds to preserve plants for their historical significance and their value as a recurring food supply.
  • Explore techniques for seed saving, maintaining seed purity, and ways to ensure your seeds will last in storage.
  • Informative lectures will alternate with practical demonstrations of small scale seed saving, cleaning, and storage tools.
  • Meet other seed savers and participate in our community seed swap.

Everyone will leave the workshop with new knowledge and some heirloom open-pollinated seeds to grow in your gardens. You will be ready both to continue your seed saving and to share with others. Help us to build more more independent and resilient seed systems in our communities!

Workshop leaders:

  • Tor Janson, Collections Curator at Seed Savers Exchange
  • Ira Wallace, Education and Variety Selection Coordinator at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
  • Rowen White, Native American Seed Keeper of Sierra Seeds
  • Rosalind Creasy author of “Edible Landscaping”
  • and Seed Savers Exchange board members