| Seed School 2022 | Restoring Seed Literacy Throughout the Ecoregions of the Northeast
For Botanists, Farmers, Gardeners, Nursery Growers, Restoration Ecologists + Anyone Interested in Seeds!
As the organizer of Seed School… I welcome you all to this incredible week of workshops lead by our regions seed experts. Whether you are selecting seeds to feed the pollinators or your family, we will cover the basic tenants of how to collect, grow and share these vital resources to fortify an ecoregional ‘*seedshed’ (*Thank you Ken Greene for such a poignant term)… So join our botanists in the woods, our farmers in the fields and our nursery growers in the greenhouses as these expert navigators wind you through the wild wonderful world of seed!
Special thanks to Freed Seed Federation – The Native Plant Trust – Wild Ones – Highstead – Eco59 + Planters Choice for their support of The Ecotype Project !
Growing northeast native plants from seed is a worthy and rewarding endeavor. Although often trickier to germinate than annual crops, we can produce ecologically valuable, low maintenance, and beautifully harmonious plants by learning the seed’s ecology. In this workshop we will explore germination requirements, seed cleaning, and seed-sowing techniques.
Demand for seed of native plants has never been higher. Establishment of founder plots from wild-collected seed can decrease collection pressures on wild populations and provides numerous advantages for seed producers. Join this session to explore best practices for establishing and maintaining plots with high genetic diversity.
Join Dr. Finch + the Eco59 Seed Collective at the farmer Meet-Up!
We will review present standards for seed collection, both at the habitat- and species-scales. Contrasts between abundant and rare plant species seed collection will be discussed. Standardized seed collection protocols will be covered, as well as how to effectively use such standards through horticultural and conservation applications.
Moderated by Geordie Elkins of Highstead, lead botanist of The Ecotype Project.
Dina Brewster is a farmer at The Hickories in Ridgefield, CT. In an effort to develop the conservation agriculture on her family‘s farm, she initiated work with the Ecotype Project at CT NOFA. The Ecotype Project has consulted and overseen the initial development of protocols at Dina’s farm that have been used to get more farmers growing restoration seed throughout the region. Farmers growing this ecotypic seed then share the work of labeling and distributing that seed - work that is done by eco59 for the resilience of farmland, farm families, and our collective future.
Dr. Jessamine Finch will be presenting on maintaining genetic diversity in founder plots.
Come listen in as the first cohort of restoration seed farmers discuss what they’ve learned, accomplished and are planning for next season!
Chicories are on the rise for the American palate. They are a joy to grow, and incredibly nutritious; yet there is a need for regional adaptation. This workshop will detail the process of selecting and breeding chicory for flavor, disease resistance, and cold-hardiness at Ivory Silo Farm.
We will walk thru the words and wisdom often hidden within the seed catalogs, websites and packets that reflect our seed choices. What is there....and what might be missing! All of this is how we decide what will work for our farms and gardens.
Join Paul Feenan from High Mowing Organic Seeds for a discussion that will help you achieve the best possible results from your seeds. We will explore best seed storage options, how to achieve successful germination, and best practices for crops that can prove most challenging, sharing specific successful methods & strategies. Paul is committed to helping growers to find the right seeds for their operations.
As the organizer of Seed School... I welcome you all to this incredible week of workshops lead by our regions seed experts. Whether you are selecting seeds to feed the pollinators or your family we will cover the basic tenants of how to collect, grow and share these vital resources to fortify an ecoregional ‘*seedshed’ (*Thank you Ken Greene for such a poignant term)... So join our botanists in the woods, our farmers in the fields and our nursery growers in the greenhouses as these expert navigators wind you through the wild wonderful world of seed!
Join the country’s leading agroforestry expert as he walks you through how to implement adaptive and resilient perennial agricultural ecosystems. Learn how to restore ecological systems through the implementation of hazelnuts: the highly nutritious, delicious and ever more in demand food forestry crop.
Stick around afterward for a roundtable discussion with Johann + Lindsay from Fields Without Fences and Karen from Forest Agriculture Nursery.
Mark Shepard heads Restoration Agriculture Development and Forest Agriculture Nursery, but is most widely known as the author of the award-winning book, Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers. Restoration Agriculture is based off his experiences at, New Forest Farm, and represents his belief in the ability of sustainably grown perennial food crops to feed us into “our resource-compromised future”.
Birds need 70% native plants in their range to maintain healthy population levels.* That‘s approximately 2/3 native plants, and that’s our goal. If we could plant even half of our 40 million acres of lawn in 2/3 native plants, and keep them pesticide-free, we could turn the bird losses into gains. Everyone, everywhere, can be part of the solution. You can make an easy, instant, positive effect on any property.
"On a molecular level, food becomes us. On a spiritual level, we use it to fill our emotional void or to bring ourselves true fulfillment through joy and connection. On an ecological level, it can be destructive in so many ways or can be produced in a way that regenerates the soil and protects biodiversity. Nothing impacts our lives, who we are, or the world we live in more than the nourishment we put in our mouths. Food can launch us to the pinnacle of our potential or drag us down to the depths of our demise. We have the power to decide our destiny—and our planet’s destiny—and it all starts with our relationship with food.
Most of our time is spent separated from nature, in cars, in walled-in spaces, walking on sidewalks and lawns designed to keep the wilderness at bay. The fundamental issue with being separated from nature is that we no longer see ourselves as part of the natural world, with natural needs that living things must have to thrive—like Sunlight. Moonlight. Wind. Waves. Open spaces. Singing songbirds. Yipping cayotes in the night. The synergy and symbiosis to all things wild and wonderful that requires being outdoors. This is why it’s important that the food we prepare together happens with the wind whispering on our goosebumped skin, where our soiled fingers and dirty fingernails slice and dice, actual food created by Mother Earth to feed the wild animals, and you—a human being whose deepest desire and most fundamental need is to be free.”
—Chef Bun Lai
The 2023 Farm Bill will be the primary agriculture and food policy legislation of the federal government for the next 5 years.…
On Friday the 10th we hosted Emily Rauch, Native Plant Program Manager at Hilltop Hanover Farm for one of our Seed Cleaning…
Pollinator enthusiasts, regenerative gardeners, and conservationists can now find a source of locally grown, native, ecotypic…
On Saturday October 16th the Ecotype Project and our partner Geordie Elkins from Highstead and Deepika Saksena of the Darien…