Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Seed Workshops Jan-Feb 2009

To launch its seed bank project, the BNPSB, will run a series of three winter workshops, January 9, January 23, and February 7, to encourage area residents to become seed collectors, savers and sowers.

The first session, a Seed Cleaning & Sorting Workshop, will be held indoors at the Berks County Agricultural Center, January 9 at 10 a.m.. Mike and Jan Slater will teach participants how to clean seeds, evaluate viability, and sort the seeds by height and habitat. Seed collected this past fall from native plants will then be ready for sowing in containers or onto outdoor sites.

The second session, a Propagating Native Plants from Seed Workshop, January 24, 9 a.m., at the Ag Center, will be indoor hands-on instruction on how successfully to germinate seeds in pots to grow on seedlings of native plants. All participants will be given potted native seeds to take home.

This will be the beginning of the Berks Backyard Native Plant Seed Bank. We hope that the participants will grow the plants on and plant some of them in their garden’s and collect seed each autumn for donation back to the BNPSB for use in future native plant revegetation projects. The species we have this year are uncommon showy flowering native plants that people will want in their gardens and are great plants for wildlife.

Area residents will be given the opportunity to register their properties as Backyard Native Seed Banks. Registered growers will be given seeds and seedlings of desirable natives for their home gardens in return for a commitment to collect and save seed for the Seed Bank. Full instructions will be provided.

The third session, February 7, 9 a.m., will be Hands on Experience Sowing Native Seeds to re-establish a meadow, held at an outdoor site in Union Township where the Slaters, The Union Twp. Recreation Board and other local enthusiasts have already begun to establish native plant meadows under the auspices of the township.

For more information and to register for the free workshops, call …….

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