First Spring Seed Garden Day

Contribute to seed sovereignty for the whole community while learning about how to garden with a seed-steward mentality! Our work parties are currently a blend of garden tending and informal workshop; we have much to demonstrate and teach this time of the year!

Join us on the very first volunteer day this season. We will be broad forking the beds and planting peas. There are also flats of seeds to sow. Sun, March 26, 2023 @ 10:00 am to 1 pm

RSVP (see below) is preferred, so that we can plan ahead for the day and provide you with any updates in case of changes.

Current Projects Include:

  • Working up and preparing beds
  • Transplanting starts
  • Spreading compost
  • Seeding beds

Hope you can join us during this part of the season!

Successful Seed Swap!

After a two-year pause the annual Salish Seed Swap has returned!

This year‘s event was a resounding success with over 150 people attending in three hours. We had a lot of good help from volunteers setting up the table and organizing the seeds. The three hour event went by fast with lots of good discussions and connections made. Thanks goes out to the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship for sharing their space for this amazing community event.

There were several presentations to the group offered to the group. Michael Pilarski gave a talk on efforts of the Global Earth Repair Foundations work. Brian Kerkvliet and Virginia Malmquist gave an overview of the history of the Salish Seed Guild and its seed garden project. Resulting in packaging and distributing over 10,000 packs of seeds back into the community.

They outlined a couple of new initiatives of the Seed Guild’s being launched this year. The first is a membership program with incentives for members. The second is an Adopt a Seed program where members can plant and grow out seeds which will be processed and distributed by the Salish Seed Guild the following year. Workshops and other volunteer work parties will be planned throughout the season so there’s lots of ways for people to get involved at all different levels. One of the main goals of the seed guild is to teach people how to save their own seed from crops in a safe, productive and responsible way.

There were several vendors at the swap offering garden related products and value added herbs and tinctures from Wayside Botanicals, Flower plants, garlic bulbs sets, cuttings from Inspiration Farm, books, herbal remedies and rare and unusual seeds from Friends of the Trees Botanicals, adding a nice mix of diversity to find. There was ample time for networking and connections between diverse groups of people aiming to strengthen our food resilience and independence. Groups from school gardens, community gardens, personal gardens, to small farms and indigenous organizations. All had something to share and gain by attending.

The seed tables that were organized into categories such as root crops, greens, brassicas, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, herbs and flowers, peas and beans, corn and grains, squash and cucumbers and many others adorned the seed tables. Much of the seed was already packaged up but large quantities of bulk seed was also available for people to package in recycled envelopes available around the room. Knowledgeable people were available to help field questions behind the table, helping people choose varieties and package seeds.

Celt had this to add, “The 2023 Seed Swap had wonderful energy. After a break of two years, previous participants and new faces were so excited to attend. Our Seed Ambassadors fielded questions for the entire time. Some were experienced gardeners and some were college students doing an enthusiastic job of looking up the answers on their phones. I was at the tomato and lettuce table, right at the entrance. I was impressed by the number of new gardeners. I had many questions about growing lettuce, tomatoes and peppers in containers (absolutely works.) Look for container gardening information coming to the Salish Seed Guild website.”

We had only a few hot pepper varieties, mostly donated seed. If anyone would like to adopt a pepper and grow it out for seed, contact us. Peppers out cross more than tomatoes, so it works best to grow several plants of a single variety.

Folks getting their seeds!

Upcoming 2023 Seed Events

Salish Seed Swap is back!

February 18 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

At the – Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship Downstairs

12 noon to 3pm – Masks Requested

$10 suggested donation, at the door. No one turned away for lack of funds
Early entrance (11:30 am) for members of the Salish Seed Guild and people bringing seeds to share
.

New! To Become a Salish Seed Member now, Click here

Free Presentations and Workshops

  • 12pm – Global Earth Repair. An overview of the worldwide eco-restoration movement and what we can do in Whatcom County.   Presented by Michael Pilarski. Friends of the Trees Society
  • 1pm – Learn About the Salish Seed Guild & Preserving local seed heritage!
  • 2pm – Garden Strategies for the PNW

A Past Seed Swap Gathering

Help us promote it, Download the poster and..

Here is the link to the FB Event share away on social media!

Join us as a Vendor!

If you are interested in vending your garden related products to hundreds of people at the Annual Seed Swap. This will augment our free and barter related seed swap event. To secure one of 6 vending tables click here.


“Intro to seed saving” Presentations at local Libraries.

Planning, selecting, tending, harvesting and saving vegetable seeds.

Join one of our long-time seed-savers and amateur seed breeders, Celt Schira for workshops on the essentials of backyard seed-saving. Celt will present background information on seed saving and plant breeding, discuss dry seed and wet seed processing, and share some musings on the deeper reasons for growing heirloom vegetables and saving seed.

When and where

  • Wed 3/1 2:00-3:30 North Fork
  • Sat 4/1 Sat 1:00-2:30 Lynden
  • Wed 4/5 6:00-7:30 – Everson
  • Sat 4/8 1:30pm – 3:00pm South Whatcom Library.
  • Sat 4/22 10:30-12:00 Deming
  • Wed 5/3 6:00-7:30 – Blaine

Adopt a Seed Program

This year we are launching an Adopt a Seed program. This Program will bring the community together, allowing you to help the Salish Seed Guild grow out a wider variety of organic seeds for the community. You will be able to choose from a variety of crops we are looking to grow out for seed production. Most of these varieties will be the easier crops to save seed from. Not needing any special skills like hand pollinating or isolation. Learn More!

Memberships

Become a member of the Salish Seed Guild

Please consider supporting the Salish Seed Guild by becoming a member. By joining as a member you will have the knowledge that you are supporting an effort to steward and preserve locally adapted seed varieties that are organic, non GMO and open pollinated. This in turn supports our local food shed.

Your financial support will help insure the success of Salish Seed Guild to buy needed equipment and supplies such as seed packaging and storage equipment, compost and mulch, seed processing equipment and other operating expenses. Critical to our ongoing success is providing a stipend to some of the key positions needed to run the seed garden. The garden coordinator and the fundraising and communications manager.

What will you receive from being a member?


Feel Connected to Community as you help to Build Seed and Food Resilience!

  • Help Preserve locally adapted organic open pollinated seed
  • Make new friends as you Learn Homesteading Skills
  • The seed garden is a social Family Affair, kids can get involved too!
  • Work outside with easy hands-on learning opportunities.

Different Membership levels and Benefits

  • Seed Planter, $25 – Early free admission to the seed swap and News updates!
  • Seed Grower, $50 – All the above and A selection of tomato and other starts in the Spring!
  • Seed Saver, $75 – All the above and phone consultation on your garden from one of our experts!
  • Seed Steward, $100 – All the above and Free access to all workshops!

[pmpro_levels]

Salish Seed 2022 Wrap up Meeting & Updates

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Greetings, Fellow Salish Seed Stewards! It’s been far too long since we have all joined together in the Community Seed Garden. We wanted to share with you all some updates for the 2022 season, and welcome the newcomers onboard! 
We want to invite you to join us for a season wrap up and whats next meeting on Zoom

If you joined us last year, we welcome feedback and ideas about what you loved and what adjustments we could attempt to make the coming year even better. If you can’t make this time but want to be involved let us know.

Topic: Salish Seed Guild Wrap up General meeting
Time: Wednesday Nov 9, 2022 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting https://us04web.zoom.us/j/75393900153?pwd=B5n6dSqRyKhgj2WQ0tpa0c3EJwfo52.1

Meeting ID: 753 9390 0153 Passcode: MfV45M

2022 Community Seed Garden Report
Our inaugural season for the Community Seed Garden was an astounding success! With Inspiration Farm as host for the garden, together with 60 volunteers putting in over 600 hours, we grew over $5,000 in wholesale value worth of seeds for our distribution efforts. Once in packets, this translates to over $20,000 in seed packet value to benefit our community and contribute to local seed sovereignty with locally-adapted varieties.

Proud Seed sorters and Packers

Free Seed Boxes ready to pollinate Whatcom County! A full list of our seasonal distribution sites  is here on our websiteDonations are encouraged in exchange for the seed packets, from those who can afford to contribute, so that we may continue to do this work of stewarding and sharing locally-adapted seed into the future. 

We hosted 3-hour educational work parties once or twice a week, from April to October, sharing skills on planting, tending, harvesting, and cleaning various seed crops, using organic permaculture-based methods. In addition, we had four focused workshops, two on “Seed Saving 101”, one on saving tomato seed, and one for squash and cucumbers. We produced heaps of seed for beans (dry and snap), peas, lettuce, tomatoes, summer and winter squash, beets, spinach, favas, popcorn, grains, leeks, onions, cilantro, calendula, radishes, kale, basil, sunflowers, and parsnips. 

2022 SEASON PREVIEW
We are excited to launch into Year 3 of our collective efforts to grow and learn together in the seed garden! We expect general work parties to begin in early April, and we are still working out dates and times for this year. If you are interested in volunteering in the garden and are not already signed up on our garden work day volunteer list, please do so here. And we’d love for you to share this opportunity with any friends and family members you think might be interested!

Do you have a school group or community group that would be interested in scheduling a specific work day together at the seed garden? Please reach out, we’d love to have you and work with your schedule!  If you are working with a community group that wishes to save some seeds at a different location, and would like some advice from or collaboration with the Salish Seed Guild, please let us know! FINANCIAL SUPPORT
We are so grateful for the financial support of so many who contributed! We are currently an all-volunteer effort and depend on your donations to pay for seed packaging supplies, labels, fliers, posters, mulch, tools, and infrastructure.

Our production, distribution, and educational efforts can all multiply with more financial support. Please consider making a donation and sharing our fundraiser with others. Click here to make an online donation, or to donate by check, put “Salish Seed Guild” in the memo and address it to: Sustainable Bellingham c/o Celt Schira 1028 12th St. Bellingham, WA 98225Copyright © 2022 Salish Seed Guild, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
Salish Seed Guild 617 E Laurel RdBellingham, WA 98226-9728
Add us to your address book

Seed Saving Summer 2022

Hi Garden Friends, this year’s seed harvest is starting. We harvested snap peas and parsnips. The parsnip seed crop is amazing. Parsnips are delicious steamed, baked or in soup. Parsnip seed has a short shelf life, so we plan on giving it all away next spring.

There is still time to save seeds this summer. The herbs and flowers are flowering and forming seed heads. If you have peas or beans left on the plants, leave a few to dry down. Remember to save seed only from open pollinated varieties; hybrids don’t come true or may be infertile. You may have lettuce or kale that bolted in the heat. That is a great opportunity to save your own seed for next year.

We will be offering two workshops on seed saving again this summer. One will be on processing dry seeds, Follow the link for more information. The other will be on processing wet seeds such as tomatoes, stay tuned date yet to be set.

When you are out shopping, check for seeds on sale. You might want to buy favorites for next spring and store them somewhere dark, cool and dry over the winter. The seed industry is being challenged by erratic weather and convulsions in global trade.

That is all for now, Celt

Spring Plant Sale Selections

Join us for Inspiration Farm’s annual Spring vegetable and permaculture plant sale! Coming up this Saturday and Sunday. 11am to 4 pm. Hope to see you to help find the perfect plants for your garden.

In Addition on Sunday May 1st, 2-5pm we will have a farm tour 2-3pm and PLANT SALE and Swap for International Permaculture Day on Sunday

You can shop for plants ahead of time and I will have them ready for you to pick up. We are donating 10% of all sales towards the Salish Seed Garden Project.

We will also have a place to trade or gift plants and seeds to other attendants.  To sell or trade you can show up a little early say 1-1:30 and set up. You can bring a table or display on the ground or the back of your car or truck.

If you are planning on attending the tour please consider carpooling with others. Folks with plants to sell or swap can arrive at 1:30 Guided tour will be from 2-3. Self guided tour and plant sale/swap will be from 3-5. Look forward to seeing you all!

Canopy Trees

Over Story Productive Trees are the most important element to consider in a Plant Guild. Long lived productive verities of Nuts, Fruits, Fuel, Forage, Fodder and Timber. Lovely long lived multi functional Trees.

Bushes & Shrubs

Supper Food Berries compose the understory, A large number of shrubs offer many Functions and Flavors of Berries, Herbs, Forage, Nitrogen Fixers, Fiber and Habitat for birds and insects. 

Vines & Canes

Find a Devine Vine, Vertical plants add an interesting dimension to your plant assembly tying it all together with an array of grapes, kiwis, hops, honeysuckle and cane fruit to suit your needs and tastes.

Ground Covers

Herbs to Heal and feed bees and butterflies. Low growing ground covers holds space and builds soil while producing a wide array of Forage, insectaries Medicine, Herbs and Teas.

Our Grant Proposal

We wanted to share our recent grant proposal that was submitted to the “Gardens for Good” grant competition. Thank you all who voted for us!

Please help us get across the finish line by sharing this with all of your friends and family on your contact list. You can forward this email and here is the direct link to vote by the end of April 1st 2022

Our Community Seed Garden serves Whatcom County in Washington State. The core group of individuals are passionate about growing local organic food with over 50 years of combined experience. Their ongoing involvement in the local seed exchange has put seed in the hands of our community for many years. This passion created the current non-profit organization, Salish Seed Guild (SalishSeed.org). The Guild was established in 2021 to promote personal community gardens through seed distribution. The co-coordinators, Brian (InspirationFarm.com) and Krista (ResilientSeeds.com), have grown food and saved seeds for many years. They  organized the Salish Seed Garden as a project of Sustainable Bellingham (SustainableBellingham.org) a 501(c)3 organization.

This regional Salish Sea network of seed-saving gardeners – farmers and advocates support the open exchange of seeds, through workshops and educational demonstrations, and by researching, building and acquiring appropriate-scale seed processing equipment and storage facilities. The Guild serves a diverse community, including tribal nations, school gardens, food banks, and communities that are designated food deserts. 

In 2021, several organic farmers donated a portion of their land for the seed saving effort. On a ¾ acre plot over 50 volunteers donated hundreds of hours gathering in the effort to plant, maintain, harvest and process more than 60 seed varieties and later distribute over 5000 packets of locally grown seed as well as other purchased seed. More than 10 pounds of seed were retained for future planting and inclusion in the seed library. Volunteers participated in workshops and events designed to promote seed saving and processing techniques free of cost and/or by donation.  

The Guild grows, selects and stores seeds from plants that express genetic strengths adaptable to our soils and changing weather, or unique heirloom qualities that could enhance the resiliency of our local food system. 

We envision a future where a majority of local farmers and community gardeners are saving at least some of their own seeds, with each individual playing a vital role in stewarding locally adapted seed varieties and diversity.

This grant will allow us to continue to expand this important effort in our community with the purchase of additional tools and supplies, seed processing, storage and distribution equipment and the ability to offer small stipends for key coordinating positions  necessary to help to ensure long term success.  

Here are two recent articles on the Salish Seed project

Seeding the Future” in The Planet Magazine

Seed Swaps Strengthen Community“, In The Salish Current

Help Salish Seed win Funding!

We have applied for a “Gardens for Good” $5000 funding grant to that will help our project continue.

The catch is we need your help to get the votes to win. Will you please consider taking a moment to click on the link below to cast your vote. Even better yet if you can share this with your network of friends!

Thank you to those who care about preserving local seed stewardship.

One vote per email is allowed. We need votes by April 1st!

Thank you for your help ensuring this project continues!

Help us win a funding grant!

Click to Vote for the Salish Seed Guild.

Please share this to anyone who cares about preserving local seed stewardship.

We need votes by April 1st! Thank you!

Salish Seed Garden Update

Greetings, Fellow Seed Stewards! It’s been far too long since we have all joined together in the Community Seed Garden and we wanted to share with you all of the exciting updates for the 2022 season, and welcome the newcomers onboard! We hope that you all have weathered the flooding and the harsh winter alright and are starting to feel the inspiring energy of the bursting buds for the coming gardening season!

Please read on for info about the 2022 seed distribution sites (just launched!), a re-cap of the inaugural 2021 Community Seed Garden season (with fun photos!), and our plans for this coming year. And if you joined us last year, we welcome your feedback and ideas about what you loved and what adjustments we could attempt to make this year even better. In fact, as we are trying out a new email platform, we’d love to hear back from any who wish to just pop back a quick hello. SEED DISTRIBUTION SITES
 All those seeds so many of you helped to plant, tend, harvest, and clean last summer? They are going out to the community in our free seed displays! A group of dedicated volunteers has been working hard the past few months to build seed displays and package up thousands of packets of seed from what we grew together! This is supplemented by bulk purchased seed from northern seed companies we like, and donated seed from other companies, for the things we can’t grow, so that we can offer a full array of locally- and northern-adapted seed to local gardeners.
Free Seed Boxes ready to pollinate Whatcom County! We make an effort to serve lower income, disadvantaged, and rural communities, as well as having a few distribution sites easily accessible to all. A full list of our distribution sites and more information is here on our websiteDonations are encouraged in exchange for the seed packets, from those who can afford to contribute, so that we may continue to do this work of stewarding and sharing locally-adapted seed into the future. 
2021 Community Seed Garden Report
 Our inaugural season for the Community Seed Garden was an astounding success! With Inspiration Farm as host for the garden, together with 60 volunteers putting in over 600 hours, we grew over $5,000 in wholesale value worth of seeds for our distribution efforts. Once in packets, this translates to over $20,000 in seed packet value to benefit our community and contribute to local seed sovereignty with locally-adapted varieties.

We hosted 3-hour educational work parties once or twice a week, from April to October, sharing skills on planting, tending, harvesting, and cleaning various seed crops, using organic permaculture-based methods. In addition, we had four focused workshops, two on “Seed Saving 101”, one on saving tomato seed, and one for squash and cucumbers. We produced heaps of seed for beans (dry and snap), peas, lettuce, tomatoes, summer and winter squash, beets, spinach, favas, popcorn, grains, leeks, onions, cilantro, calendula, radishes, kale, basil, sunflowers, and parsnips. 

2022 SEASON PREVIEW
 We are excited to launch into Year 2 of our collective efforts to grow and learn together in the seed garden! We expect general work parties to begin in early April, and we are still working out dates and times for this year. If you are interested in volunteering in the garden and are not already signed up on our garden work day volunteer list, please do so here. And we’d love for you to share this opportunity with any friends and family members you think might be interested!

Do you have a school group or community group that would be interested in scheduling a specific work day together at the seed garden? Please reach out, we’d love to have you and work with your schedule!  If you are working with a community group that wishes to save some seeds at a different location, and would like some advice from or collaboration with the Salish Seed Guild, please let us know! 

 
FINANCIAL SUPPORT
 We are so grateful for the financial support of so many who contributed to our GiveLively campaign last year and for grants from the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Fund and the Community Food Co-op. We are currently an all-volunteer effort and depend on your donations to pay for seed packaging supplies, labels, fliers, posters, fertilizer, mulch, tools, and infrastructure such as a hoop house for seed starting and seed drying, and toolshed.

Our production, distribution, and educational efforts can all multiply with more financial support. Please consider making a donation and sharing our fundraiser with others. Click here to make an online donation, or to donate by check, put “Salish Seed Guild” in the memo and address it to: Sustainable Bellingham c/o Celt Schira 1028 12th St. Bellingham, WA 98225
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