Seed Exchange 2019 Speakers Announced

Here are the speakers for the upcoming Washington Gardener Seed Exchanges 2019Seed Exchange attendees trade seeds, exchange planting tips, hear expert speakers, and collect goody bags full of gardening treats. For more information on the exchanges and how to register, go here.

Saturday, January 26 at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD

Speaker 1:

Growing Cut Flowers From Seed, A Flower Farmer Perspective
Speaker: Leon Carrier of Plant Masters
Leon will share the production techniques that work for him on his commercial cut flower farm.  He will share what works and what doesn’t, including timing and the many pitfalls in growing flowers from seed.
   Leon has a B.S. Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Maryland. He has been a market gardener in Montgomery County for over 40 years and is currently doing 8 farmers markets a week during the growing season. He grows on two farms in Montgomery and Howard County — raising 200,000 seedlings a year for his farms and other growers.

Speaker 2:
“Introduction to Local Vertical Farming”
Speaker: Niraj Ray of Cultivate the City
Vertical Farming uses stackable growing containers and community-based farming to activate underused urban spaces, including rooftops, balconies, abandoned lots, or front yards. This session covers using vertical farming methods for higher yields, selecting to most suitable varieties for vertical growing, nutrient management, integrated pest management, and harvest techniques.
   Niraj founded Cultivate the City (CTC) in 2015 to inspire healthy and sustainable living by empowering local communities with the tools, training and resources for urban agriculture and vertical farming. CTC currently manages over 25 locations around DC, including a rooftop farm at the Washington Nationals Stadium. Niraj holds a B.S. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from the Ohio State University and a M.S. in Integrated Environmental Science from Bethune-Cookman University. He is a 2013 National Wildlife Federation Emerging Leader Fellow and formerly worked with the US EPA – Office of Water.

Washington Gardener Seed Exchange 1
on Saturday, January 26, 2019, 12:30–4:00pm 
National Seed Swap Day!
at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD
 Registration is now open at 
Speaker 1:
The What, Where & How of Seed Starting
Speaker: Marianne Willburn of Small Town Gardener
Starting seeds properly can make or break your entire growing season! Marianne will share tips that include when to start seeds, which seeds to start indoors, and how to do it.
   Marianne is the mother of two, wife of one and the voice of The Small Town Gardener. She gardens and writes from her home in the scenic (and exceptionally convenient) heart of Virginia’s wine country. She is the author of “Big Dreams, Small Garden: A Guide to Creating SomethingExtraordinary in Your Ordinary Space.”

Speaker 2:
Choosing Seed: Companies & Qualities
SpeakerDebby Ward of Prior Unity Garden
Enjoy Debby’s passion for quality seeds and seed companies. Learn the 16 criteria she has developed to assist you in making wise seed and seed companies choices, interspersed with information about types of seeds, stories about being in relationship with seed companies, and some successes and failures. She will also pass on her a few of her favorite seed companies and why she loves them.
   Debby Ward is founder and owner of Prior Unity Garden – Growing Your Own Organic Food Made Easy. She has been gardening since she could crawl. Her family always had food and herb gardens in which she participated and she has continued that tradition. She loves to help grow gardeners and has taught for many local groups including The Mason Sustainability Institute, Master Gardeners in Fairfax County VA and the Grow Your Health Festival. 

Washington Gardener Seed Exchange 2
on Saturday, February 2, 2019, 12:30–4:00pm
at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, VA
Registration is now open at 

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