2021 Fair

Free the Seeds returns to the Flathead Valley March 6–8, 2021, for a 6th year of workshops and free seeds. This year’s event features a heirloom seed giveaway and free virtual workshops that promote real seeds, real food, and real skills:

Have seeds to donate? Free the Seeds welcomes seeds saved by local gardeners to pass on to other growers. Heirloom, open-pollinated, and non-genetically modified (non-GMO) seeds can be donated at ImagineIF library in Columbia Falls. The library requires masks to be worn and limit visit times to 30 minutes. Or you can drop them off when you pick up your free seed bundle Saturday, March 6th 9-noon.

Saturday, March 6

  • 9 am–12 pm: Heirloom seed bundle giveaway at ImagineIF Library in Columbia Falls (130 6th St W STE C) and on the lawn of the Northwest Montana History Museum (formerly Central School Museum) in Kalispell (124 2nd Ave E). Look for Free the Seeds signs outside the library and museum. You may drive by the Columbia Falls location to pick up your seeds. In Kalispell you’ll need to park your vehicle and walk to the tent on the lawn of the museum.
  • 2–3:30 pm: Zoom workshop: Growing Your Own Herb Garden – Designs and What to Grow Out Your Back Door
    • Lindy Dewey of SpiritWorks Herb Farm will guide participants through the particulars of growing herbs and discuss how to design a beautiful and useful herb garden. She will discuss cultivating herbs for remedies and what herbs grow best in Northwest Montana in this interactive Zoom workshop.
  • 4–5:30 pm: Zoom workshop: Small-Space Gardening
    • Local gardener Chris Dye will show you her amazing garden in Kalispell, where she uses every available space to plant an amazing garden on her small property. She will show participants how to incorporate planters, pots and whatever is available to have a garden wherever you live.
  • 6–7:30 pm: Happy Hour Community Conversation via Zoom: Community Seed Saving – The Key to Local Food Security
    • In this Happy Hour Community Conversation, Robin Kelson of Good Seed Co. will lead a discussion about the precarious position of some of our standard heirlooms following the pandemic seed grab and crop failures of 2020. The conversation will center on committing to local seed crop production at a higher level.

Sunday, March 7

  • 1–2:30 pm: Zoom workshop: Building Healthy Soil
    • Todd Ulizio of Two Bear Farm will discuss how to build the healthy soil you need to grow healthy food. Learn about organic matter, soil microbes, and soil tilth and the practices that support better soil in this interactive Zoom workshop.
  • 3–4:30 pm: Zoom workshop: Attracting Beneficial Insects and Pest Control
    • Patty Armbrister of Agrarian Food Web will offer a proactive approach to encouraging beneficial insects and dealing with pests in your gardens. Learn about prevention, compost extracts, farmscaping, and polycrops that can help you deal with flea beetles, cabbage loopers, slugs, and more in this interactive Zoom workshop.
  • 5–6:30 pm: Happy Hour Community Conversation via Zoom: Can We Create Edible Neighborhoods?
    • Community members and experts will gather for a Happy Hour Community Conversation via Zoom to discuss ways to create edible neighborhoods around the Flathead Valley. The conversation will center on ways to feed yourself, your family, and our community and the tools we have and may need to develop to plant, grow, and share locally grown and raised food.

Monday, March 8

  • 6–7:30 pm: Zoom workshop: Fruit Tree Pruning and Orchard Tending
    • Local orchardist Lise Rousseau from Fat Robin Orchard will offer reasons, tips, and techniques for pruning and tending fruit trees. Learn how to encourage a manageable shape that lets you pick fruit from the ground and edges. In addition, Dan Getman from Getman Orchard and Vineyard will help answer participant questions in this interactive Zoom workshop.

Register for our virtual workshops using the links above.
Registration required for each workshop to receive a link to attend.

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