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
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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!

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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

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

Easy Beans!

The Gateway Crop to Seed Saving!

They are beautiful, easy to grow and easy to save seed. What a wonderful place to start.  Beans are easy because they are mostly self fertile, and so isolation from other varieties is less of a concern, and because when growing dry beans as a crop, the harvest is also the seed.  Make sure to wait to harvest the beans until the pods are dry and brittle on the vine and select seed from the healthiest plants and the largest, earliest and healthiest beans, and you are bound for success in seed saving.

I grow beans for the same reason people grow flowers, they are SO beautiful.

I love the plants and the flowers, but mostly I love the shiny jewel seeds that pop out of the pods at harvest.  I find Scarlet Runner Beans, with their big, bright mottled pink seeds to be satisfying in so many ways.  Eat them as green beans when they are young and tender, shelling beans fresh out of the pod, and mostly as dry beans, saved for winter soups and tortillas. They are delicious and nutritious and a little less work, due to their large size.

Plant beans direct in late spring when the soil warms, Mayish. Runner beans mature later than bush beans, so give them a good running start, but after it warms up. It is recommended to separate different bean varieties to avoid crossing but beans are mostly self pollinating and it has been my experience that they seem to remain true to type even when shamelessly planted all hodge-podge together. (Though I have seen a bit of crossing with the runner beans.)  Give your runner beans a good trellis and they will climb high. (Bamboo teepees, T-poles with string, a fence..)  Keep the soil moist while the baby beans are sprouting and irrigate when needed in summer.

To save seed, again, wait to harvest the beans when the pods are dry and brittle on the vine and select seed from the healthiest plants and the largest, earliest and healthiest beans. Dry thoroughly (in a paper bag in the sun or by the wood stove or in a gas oven off with the door cracked). Shuck before or after drying (in front of a good movie). Bean seed is dry enough to store when your tooth doesn’t make a dent in it while biting it.

Store in a glass jar in a cool, dark place. Label with year and type. Bean seed should stay viable for 3-5 years (or more).  Share and Replant.  “Magic Beans” make great gifts.


Contributed by Terri Wilde a homesteader, herbalist, community organizer, seed saver. Hawthorn Hearth Homestead


If you have a story or experience about your favorite seed varieties adapted for the Salish sea watershed, Contact us and we can help share it with the Salish Seed Guild.

Salish Seed Solstice Update

We are excited to be moving forward with a vision that started a number of years ago with a small group of dedicated people. To plant a garden with the specific intent of growing seeds for the community. This will be a way to ensure that everyone who wants to grow out some of the best locally adapted open pollenated non GMO crops, can have the opportunity to do so! This effort will help ensure that we are seed secure, self sufficient and resilient. The whole vision also includes a seed bank, seed libraries and a seed processing equipment co-op.

We envision this being a community endeavor with the opportunity to volunteer, make suggestions, tell stories, contribute your favorite seeds for this area so that they can be grown out for the wider community.

At his point we have located some mid county ground to begin this work in earnest the Spring of 2021. Over the next few months we will be preparing the ground, gathering supplies, raising money and awareness for this project. If you are interested in being involved check out our “Volunteer” and “Donate” page and let us know how you would like to be involved.

First steps will be woking over the wet winter months to raise awareness, funds, gathering tools and invisible infrastructure (website, database, volunteers, strategies) before we hit the ground running in the Spring. First steps will be putting up a hoop house and preparing the soil. At the samt time we will be taking an inventory of the seeds we have available and select what to grow out for this year. Timing and isolation are key considerations to what we can grow out and accurately to save seed from.

We are inviting you to join us on this journey!

Salish Seed’s Vision

To be a seed processing equipment Co-Op, education/ research group, Seed Bank and seed lending library
Salish Seed Co-op’s mission is to honor the biodiversity of seeds grown in our local food shed and to encourage the care-taking of genetic seed diversity for future generations. Our members grow, select & store seeds from plants that express genetic strengths adaptable to our soils & changing weather, or unique heirloom qualities that could enhance the resiliency of our local food system.
We advance our mission through a regional Salish Sea network of seed-saving garden-farmers & advocates, through organizing & attending regional seed swaps supporting open exchange of seeds, through workshops and educational demonstrations at public events, and by researching, building and acquiring appropriate-scale seed processing equipment and storage facilities.
We envision a future where a majority of local farmers and 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. We envision a future where local farmers are once again educated and skilled in the art and science of selecting, harvesting, threshing, and cleaning seed of all types of food and medicinal plants. We envision a future where our local seed swaps are no longer dependent on seeds donated by large seed companies from outside the region, and instead become vital trading posts for local growers and seed stewards.
Donations Welcome for Salish Seed Co-Op Projects
Acquire Seed Processing Equipment
Equipment list includes: threshers, seed cleaning devices, the Clipper fanning mill and hand screens we have, de hulling equipment, grinding mills and potentially nut & corn shucking and grinding equipment.
The function would be to clean and process seeds used as food, grain, corn, beans, nuts.
The equipment would be housed at one location but would be available to the community much like the Whatcom Pastured Poultry equipment. With a small lifetime membership of say $20 you could rent the equipment and some of the seed that you clean would go back into the seed bank.

Salish Seed Co-Op Goals:
Set up and Organize Salish Seed Bank The seed storage component. Includes storage space, containers, physical organization systems and personal to organize, catalog and distribute seeds. Organizing with multiple goals in mind.
First priority would be to be a repository for all seed genetics that are appropriate for growing in Whatcom county and store them in trust for the people here. Record origins and breeding history of each seed variety in the bank.
Second priority would be go keep the seed resources renewed and recorded with reliable seed saving growers. Maintaining the best genetics and diversity.
Third focus would be to get extra seeds out to the community to grow food. Achieved through seed swaps, food banks, self serve seed kiosks at libraries and schools. 
Another ongoing function should be to train people how to grow crops out in order to correctly save seed so that there is reliable new seed coming back to the seed bank. Includes organizing classes, printing brochures, and bringing in speakers.

  • – Approximate space needed to start- 100- 200 Square feet
  • – Equipment needs. 5-10 file cabinets or equivalent mouse proof storage. Lots of containers, large and small, preferably glass. A sorting table. Dehumidifier and climate controls. Computer system to handle inventory, labels, brochures etc. Some office supplies.
  • – Approximate initial funds needed for equipment and staff. Equipment- Say $5000. Salary for 1 person to set the system up and get things going ???? Minimal input needed after setup, just maintenance.

2- The seed cleaning and processing equipment component. 
This components function would not only be used to clean seeds but also process seeds used as food, grain, corn, beans, nuts.
This equipment would be housed at one location but would be available to the community much like the Whatcom pastured poultry equipment is. With a small lifetime membership fee say $20 you can use it for a small rental say $10 a day and some of the seed that you clean would go back into the seed bank. Prefferably all of this equipment would be housed in a weather proof box trailer that could be hauled from site to site for threshing parties.

  • – Equipment list includes: A box trailer large enough to house, threshers, seed cleaning devices, the Clipper (we have), hand screens and others, de hulling equipment, mills and potentially nut & corn shucking, grinding equipment and an oil press.
  • – Approximate space needed to start- 500 – 1000 sq. feet
  • – Approximate initial funds needed for equipment- could be anywhere from $15,000 to $35,000 depending on what scale and type of equipment we decide to go with. Some of this we already have.

    Follow Salish Seed Guild on Facebook

Seed swap

Heirloom Seed Swap 2017
Seeds time to plan and start planting for the coming bounty2
We are all gearing up for a grand year here at Inspiration Farm. Time to get peas in the ground (saved from last years) Kale, spinach, mustard, cilantro, arugula, parsley and more. As today is a leaf day we will start with that.

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