The Alliance for the Arts GreenMarket will host free backyard farming workshops at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday morning in June and July. This year’s workshop series is titled “When the Shelves Go Bare” and deals with increased concerns about a potential future food shortage. The next workshop in the series, “Propagating the Future: Seed Saving in the 21st Century,” will be held Saturday June 17th, at 10:30 am.
In the past 100 years, America has seen a 94% reduction in pollinated seed varieties. As the commercial agriculture market focuses on corn, wheat, and soy monocultures, the responsibility of growing and saving unique seed varieties has fallen on the home gardener. With the help of seed banks across the globe, home gardeners have continued the tradition of growing and storing the seeds of open pollinated crops for generations. The role of the home gardener and seed saver is becoming more important than ever in the mission of protecting and restoring our food sovereignty and reclaiming the biodiversity of our food system. This free workshop will cover techniques and methods for seed saving in the 21st century.
Workshop presenter and the “Unruly Gardener” Millisa Bell is a native Floridian and organic gardener who has been saving seeds for over a decade. She has a passion for sharing and spreading her seed saving knowledge across Lee County and the United States. Along with her gardening husband, Santiago DeChoch, she grows organic seedlings and raises bees, chickens, rabbits, and composting worms. She is also the creator of the historic Shangri-la’s organic food to table program in Bonita Springs and is responsible for turning a once unproductive landscape into a 4.5 acre food producing paradise.
Although workshops are free, small donations are welcomed, as the Alliance for the Arts GreenMarket strives to support local growers, bakers and artisans. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.