2018 Garden Symposium: Seed Saving

Saturday, April 7, 2018 -
9:00am to 5:00pm

Discover the joys, benefits, and importance of saving seeds from your garden at the 2018 OSV Garden Symposium!

Location: Fuller conference Center at Old Sturbridge Village

Cost: $50.00 for non-members, $40 for members (Lunch is available for an additional $15.00, see below for lunch options)

Registration is required. Register here.


Speakers:

Hannah Traggis is the Senior Horticulturist and an educator at Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Raised by a horticulturist, her lifelong love and pursuit of plant biology have led her to formal academic training in marine botany and plant breeding. She is currently a master's candidate in Plant Physiology at the University of New Hampshire where she also taught Botany and the ethnobotany course, Plants, and Civilizations. Through her work at Mass Hort, Hannah can be found alongside our gardens curator planning and cultivating our many gardens and shaping them to more fully serve our century's old educational mission. Teaching to her many horticultural passions, she shares her experience and knowledge on subjects ranging from organic agroecology and food production to engaging children and teens through garden-based school programs.    

Gretel Anspach is a Trustee of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, a Lifetime Master Gardener with the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association, and a recently-retired systems engineer for Raytheon.  She has volunteered sporadically for the New England Wildflower Society as an adult’s and children’s guide. She considers her horticultural interests to be eclectic.  Gretel helped to establish and maintain two food production gardens that have provided fresh produce to the Marlboro Food Pantry for the last eight years.

Christie Higginbottom is a Garden Historian and Consultant. Christie has worked in the gardens at Old Sturbridge Village for over 30 years. Preserving heirloom vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers – the essence of the museum gardens’ living collections – is a critical component of this work.


Workshops:

Participants will be asked to choose one morning and one afternoon workshop at registration on the day of the event.

Morning Workshop Options:

  • 19th-Century Seed saving: Visit the Freeman Root cellar and learn to plant a seedbed.
  • "What you need to know about a plant to successfully save its seeds". Topics to be covered will include selecting varieties for seed saving, determining the life cycles of common plants, understanding pollination, and isolation techniques, and judging seed ripeness.

Afternoon Workshop Options:

  • Threshing, winnowing, conditioning and extracting seeds from the fruits within which they were created.
  • 19th-Century Seed saving: Visit the Freeman Root cellar and learn to plant a seedbed
  • "What you need to know about a plant to successfully save its seeds".  Topics to be covered will include selecting varieties for seed saving, determining the life cycles of common plants, understanding pollination, and isolation techniques, and judging seed ripeness.

Schedule (Subject to Change):

9:00-9:30 Registration

9:30-9:45 Overview of the day, Introduction of speaker by Ruth diBuono

9:45-10:45 Lecture by Hannah Traggis

Talk Description: Seed is the fundamental unit of our food system and has the potential to represent our respective cultural histories as precious varieties are often passed down from generation to generation as heirlooms. Man has been cultivating plants and developing crop varieties for human usage for over 20,000 years, amassing an enormous amount of genetic potential within the crops we grow. Until 100 years ago, these crop varieties were all open pollinated; that is that they are grown as populations and can intermate within that population yielding seed that can subsequently be grown out true to the parent generation. A few key developments in the past 100 years of agronomy and cultivar research has lead to the creation of modern hybrid varieties which comprise most of the food offered to us in grocery stores. Yet, the inherent genetic diversity within the open-pollinated varieties holds an important key to agriculture, food security, ecological stability and mitigating the effects of our changing climate. This talk will discuss the case for preserving the genetic diversity in our food system through mindful stewardship of our heirloom and open-pollinated varieties, which is compelling for many reasons.

10:45-11:00: Break

11:00-12:30 Workshops (see above)

12:45-2:00 Lunch

2:00-2:45: Lecture by Gretel Anspach

Talk Description: During this presentation we will talk about the reasons for saving your own seeds and learn some of the basic techniques for ensuring genetic purity. We will include discussions about the home garden plants from which seeds can be easily saved and stored for future use.

2:45-3:00 break

3:00-4:30 Workshops (see above)

4:30-5:00 Wrap up: discussion led by Ruth diBuono


Lunch Options:

Lunch is available for an additional $15.00 when you register. All sandwiches include bag of potato chips, whole fruit, OSV cookie and bottled soda or water.

  • Roast Turkey, Swiss Cheese, Smoked Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Honey Mustard on Ciabatta
  • Roast Beef, Bleu Cheese, Watercress & Dijon Mustard on Multi Grain Bread
  • Fresh Mozzarella with Tomato, Basil & Olive Oil on Ciabatta

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Ruth at rdibuono@osv.org or 508-347-0335.