Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) and partners will host four organic seed trainings for farmers throughout Western Washington over the next eight weeks. These events are co-hosted by Greenbank Farm’s Organic Seed Project.
Growing Spinach, Chard, and Beet Seed | August 31, 2015 | Greenbank, WA
OSA and Greenbank Farm will host an in-depth course on growing spinach, chard, and beet seed in the Pacific Northwest region on August 31, 2015. These are three crops ideally suited to our Northwest Maritime climate. Participants will learn production methods from planting to harvest, including timing of planting, horticultural management techniques, and timing and tools for harvest and post-harvest cleaning. The event will be held at Greenbank Farm located at 765 Wonn Road A201 in Greenbank, Washington, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Register for this event here.
Seed Cleaning Techniques and Equipment | September 16, 2015 | Sequim, WA
OSA and Nash’s Organic Produce will host this hands-on course on seed cleaning techniques and equipment on September 16, 2015. Participants will learn the fundamentals of post-harvest seed handling, including drying, threshing, and screening and winnowing. Instruction will also include training on small- and large-scale seed cleaning equipment. This event will be held at Nash’s Organic Produce located at 4681 Sequim-Dungeness Way in Sequim, Washington, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Participants are responsible for bringing their own lunch to the event. Register for this event here.
On-Farm Variety Trials | September 22, 2015 | Orcas Island, WA
OSA, Washington State University (WSU), and the Orcas Food Co-op will host this course on conducting on-farm variety trials on September 22, 2015. Participants will learn how to identify the best performing organic varieties available for their local growing conditions. This course provides training in basic on-farm experimental design, as well as the tools to efficiently and effectively plan, manage, and evaluate a variety trial and use trial results. The event will run from 1:15 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. and will be followed by a variety tasting social from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Participants will meet at the Orcas Food Co-op located at 138 North Beach Road in Eastsound, Washington, at 1:15 p.m. and carpool to the field portion of the event. Register for this event here.
Fundamentals of On-Farm Plant Breeding | September 29, 2015 | Chimacum, WA
OSA will host this daylong course on on-farm plant breeding on September 29, 2015. Participants will learn the basic skills required to envision, plan, and manage a plant breeding project on their farm. This classroom and field based course will cover basic genetics and on-farm breeding techniques, including how to make crosses with hand pollination. The field component will focus on OSA’s breeding projects, including examples of inbreeding and outbreeding crops. The event will be held at the OSA research farm at the Chimacum Farm Collaborative located at 9165 Rhody Drive in Chimacum, Washington, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Participants are responsible for bringing their own lunch to the event. Coffee and snacks will be served in the morning. Register for this event here.
These trainings are intended for farmers and agricultural students. Prior experience in basic seed growing is recommended. Participants are encouraged to review OSA’s online tutorials on seed saving and production before the course. These resources can be found here. Events will take place regardless of the weather and participants are encouraged to dress appropriately.
All four trainings are being offered free of charge in partnership with Greenbank Farm thanks to support from the Washington State Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.