Seed Saver winter conference planned

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FARMINGTON — The local Seed Savers Group will host a third annual winter conference from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 2 in Roberts Hall on the campus of the University of Maine at Farmington.

The conference is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted.

Welcome and registration starts at 12:30 p.m. at Roberts Learning Center, Auditorium, Lower Level, Room 023. Seating is limited.

At 1 p.m., Keynote speaker C. R. Lawn, founder of FEDCO Seeds, will discuss the state of the seed industry, current challenges and how these relate to individuals who save seeds.

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There are two workshop sessions. Attendees can choose one workshop per session.

Session 1 takes place from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. Presenters include Mark Hutton, PhD, UMO, assistant professor of vegetable crops, who will explore the topic of “Seed Health, Quality, and Storage.” Will Bonsall, seed curator and founder of the Scatterseed Project, will discuss “Maine’s Heirloom Seed Heritage.”

During Session II, from 3:45 to 5 p.m., Dave Fuller, agriculture and nontimber forest product professional for the UMaine Cooperative Extension, will teach “Growing Better Garlic Crops.” Amy LeBlanc, a MOFGA-certified organic farmer, will discuss “Small Scale Seed Saving: Preserving Unique and Historic Food Crops.” Jon Thurston, educator at the Ecology Academy, Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast, will present “Seed Saving: the Ultimate Teaching Opportunity” and describe a model school gardening program.

Detailed brochures with more information are available at the Saturday Farmer’s Market at the West Farmington Grange, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, or the Better Living Center, or by calling 831-9384.

The snow date is Saturday, Feb. 9.

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