May 21: Meeting Agenda and Community Composting Discussion

Next Tuesday’s Seed Savers meeting at 6 p.m. will be hosting Athena Bradley from the Northeast Recycling Council to discuss Community Composting and to explain the use of a large Jora Composter that is being awarded to the Stamford VT Seed Savers for composting of food waste from the elementary school.

Jora Composter

For this event our meeting will be held in the school instead of the town library. The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Approval of minutes from May 7th
  2. Progress Report: Summer Camp Program
  3. Planning for Church Bazaar
  4. Formation of new Town “Community Committee” (name to be determined)
  5. Chicken Coop update

The remainder of the meeting will be devoted to a discussion of Community Composting under the leadership of Athena Bradley from the Northeast Recycling Council.

This is an important planning meeting; we hope as many as possible can attend, as we NEED YOUR IDEAS!

Green Up Day and a Day in the Dirt

Day in the Dirt 2019

Green Up Day exceeded last year’s record numbers and a great day was had by all.  The Seed Savers’ table offered free seeds to participants and training in how to obtain seeds from the new seed library, located in the foyer at the Town Center.

Day in the Dirt Work Party

In addition to public outreach activities for Green Up Day, Seed Savers rescheduled our Day in the Dirt work party and many volunteers came from 11am to 3pm to build five new garden beds that are now ready for planting. We also cleaned up the eight existing beds, weeded the blueberry patch, and planted three varieties of peas.

Evan and Sierra DID

Day in Dirt Worker

 

 

 

 

 

Seed Savers in the Classroom

Stephen and Jen in Class 2019On Friday May 3rd the Stamford Elementary School invited Seed Savers Stephen Greene, Helen Fields and Jen Ryan to spend the day working with students in all classes, pre-K through 7 (with 8th graders assisting the very young students).

 

Kids picking seeds

Everyone planted two flowers and two vegetables of their choice for home and school gardens. Classes are now caring for the plants until Seed Savers can return in early June to plant them with students at the School Gardens or take home to plant.

Intrepid Gardeners

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Last Saturday, October 13th,  it was a cold and rainy day.  As a result, work on the garden was delayed until 12:00 pm.  In the end, a few dedicated volunteers  came to put the garden in order for next year’s season.  Some of the volunteers cleaned up the old beds, while others worked on building new beds. The boards had been cut to length, and were laid out out in advance; assembly moved quickly.  By the end of the two hours we had assembled the foundations for 4 new beds.

There will be one more work day on Oct. 27th to finish the work that has been started.

 

Garden Work Party

Saturday, October 13th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

at

Stamford Elementary School

We will clean the existing beds, plant a cover crop, build several new beds and fill them with top soil and compost.  We will need hand tools, drills, bits and drivers, hammers, shovels, garden forks, rakes and wheelbarrows.  Bring tools, if you have them, or just bring yourself, there will be plenty to do.  Light refreshments will be provided.

All are welcome. Bring family and friends.  A rain date will be announced in case of inclement weather.

 

Healthy Potato Chips?

On Friday September 14th, Stephen Greene returned to the classroom to teach grades 6, 7, & 8 the fine art of making potato chips in a microwave oven using olive oil and a variety of spices. Students used the potatoes that they had harvested the previous week to make their own plate of potato chips using the spices of their choice. (Many students made more than one plate).  Students  also learned about the geographic origin of several food crops including potatoes, peppercorns, olives, and … potato chips (Saratoga Springs N.Y.).

Making Potato Chips po

When they were done the remaining potatoes were washed and turned over to the school cafeteria where they were happily received by Principal Hayre for use in the next week’s lunches.

Potato Harvest in Cafeteria

 

Compost at Last!

Compost pickup Sept 8

On September 8th Larry Potvin, Annah Boucher, Ken Boucher, & Stephen Greene worked to deliver three loads of compost to the garden site. The compost was donated by Diane and Nate Finney. It is excellent aged horse manure that we used with great success in this year’s school garden.

Harvesting the Garden

Summer is over and activities at the Seed Savers school garden have been gearing up. On September 7th Stephen Greene went into the classroom to supervise the harvest of our potato crop with the 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Students learned that potatoes are tubers, not roots, and we got to see first hand what this looked like when we dug up 65 lbs. of organic potatoes from two raised beds.

SES Students Harvest Potatoes

Students also harvested a substantial load of heirloom tomatoes that were delivered to the school cafeteria, where Cook Patty was thrilled to receive them, and used them in the salad bar this past week.

Heirloom tomatoes

 

Green Up Day 2018 Stamford Vermont

by Helen Fields

May 7, 2018

Rainy, blustery cold weather did not deter a record-breaking 52 families from participating in Stamford’s Green Up Vermont Day this year! We collected a truckload of green bags, and families and friends picked up their bags empty and brought them back full, with the promise of hot coffee, cocoa and donuts on their return.

Green Up Day 1.jpg

As the sun burst through, workers enjoyed a presentation by local artist and art historian/educator Victoria Jefferies, who walked us through the possible designs of a Community Building on the spot where we stood. Victoria answered many good questions and took notes on ideas from people, inviting Stamfordians to the meeting on Tuesday, May 8 at 6pm in the Stamford Elementary School. They discussed locations, safety and designs which fit the architecture of the town, library and school. The Building Committee hopes people will continue to attend the meetings and give their valued input.

Seed Sowing 4

Stamford Vermont Seed Savers also offered a table of plants for donations to the Lights! Project started at Stamford Elementary School this week.  Seed Savers were invited by Principal Hayre, and the SES Agriculture Committee teachers, to plant about 700 seeds with every student in every classroom, on Mad Mondays Special Activity Day. Then they set up light stands so that children in each classroom could monitor, care for and watch their plants grow. Each student planted seeds for school gardens, home gardens, town flower boxes and one seed of their choice. The K/1 seedlings were on display for families to see.

Green Up SVSSJPG

Several Seed Savers members repotted spider plants, grown by members, and a new member used her florist experience to make beautiful bows and eyeballs for each plant. These “Watch Plants” will clean up toxins from the indoor air, and donors took home plants for Green Up Day and for Mothers Day. Betty Vadnais donated her San Marzano paste tomato seedlings, and several people were very pleased to take them home as well.

Seed Sowing 3

A good time was had by all! Be sure to come to the Stamford Community Church Bazaar on Saturday, June 2. SVSS will have many varieties of plants for sale there, as a fundraiser for the community/school gardens. There will be many varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and other choices. We will meet again on Tuesday, May 15 at 6pm in the Town Library. Please join us if you want to participate in these and other projects.

Thanks to everyone for participating, and for helping to keep Stamford a strong local, sustainable and caring community!

Green Up Day 2

SVSS Plants Seeds at Stamford Elementary School

by Stephen Greene

May 1, 2018

Seed Sowing with SES 1As the last few snowflakes drifted out of the sky on Monday, April 30th, Stamford Vermont Seed Savers brought the new school garden into the classroom at Stamford Elementary School.  At the invitation of Principal Micah Hayre, SVSS volunteers Helen Fields and Stephen Greene instructed four classes, grades K through eight, on seed germination and growth.  Students were asked to germinate vegetable and flower seeds for a new school garden that was built last year by volunteers from the Stamford community. Students will be watering and caring for the seedlings in their classrooms until they are ready to go outside in a few weeks. Some of the plants will go to the school garden, some are destined for flower boxes that will be installed around town and the rest will go home with the kids to be planted in their home gardens when the weather warms.

Many of the vegetables that were planted by the children are heirloom varieties that demonstrate the potential diversity of familiar food crops, such as yellow cherry tomatoes, hot Thai peppers and red iceberg lettuce.  The flower varieties were chosen specifically for their benefits to native pollinators, and will be used in flower boxes around the town.

Funding for SVSS activities during the past year came from the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund and funding for the grow lights that are being used in the classrooms came from individual donations made to SVSS during Stamford’s Community Green Up Day 2018.

Seed Sowing with SES 2

 

About the New England Grassroots Environment Fund

The New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund) energizes and nurtures long-term civic engagement in local initiatives that create and maintain healthy, just, safe and sustainable communities using stories, tools and dollars to fuel local activism and social change. Since 1996, the Grassroots Fund’s core grantmaking program continues to fund nearly 150 grants annually, giving more than $4 million in 20 years to initiatives by better than 1,700 community groups covering more than 60 percent of New England’s cities and towns.   

For more information, please visit grassrootsfund.org or call 603-905-9915.

Seed Savers Meeting Wed. April 18th, 6:00 pm at the Fire Station

Agenda:

Fundraising :

Adopt-a-Seedling. We will be sowing seeds to grow out for a fund raiser at the church bazaar in early June.

Communication:

Seed Production:

We will be asking for volunteers to grow out open-pollinated plants for seed production.

Seed Library:

School Gardening Report:

Flower Box Project:

Trees and Shrubs:

Wish List:

New Business:

 

Planning a Vegetable Garden for Pleasure, Beauty and Good Food – Tuesday Feb. 27, 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Stamford VT Seed Savers invites you to join us for an public presentation by Sharon Wyrrick, the farmer and owner of Many Forks Farm in Clarksburg, Massachusetts. Many Forks Farm is going into its seventh season and provides produce to 50 local households through its community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share program.

Sharon will be discussing the intricacies of planning and managing a successful home vegetable garden in our region. Gardeners of all ages and levels of experience are invited to attend to share their wisdom or to learn some new tricks from a seasoned professional.

Refreshments will be served. The Stamford Community Library is located behind the Stamford Town Office and School, on Route 8 in Stamford, Vermont, just minutes from North Adams, Mass.

Sharon in Library

Public Seed Sharing Event – Feb 10, 12:00-2:00

This is our 1st Annual Seed Sharing Event. The public is invited to come to the Stamford Fire Station at 142 Stebbins Rd. on Saturday Feb. 10th from 12 to 2:00 pm. We will be offering seeds from our collection of vegetable, herb and flower varieties to anyone interested. Also, if you have seeds that you don’t need, or a favorite variety that you would like to share with others, please bring them.

Seed Sharing Event PSA

Seed Sharing Event Flyer – Reprint and distribute at will; spread the word!

Seed Sharing Image 1