2018 Workshop Schedule


We’ve lined up the workshop schedule for the March 3, 2018, Free the Seeds! Seed and Start Fair. Here’s the latest:




School Gardens 101 – Alli Mitchell, Kalispell Middle School, 8-9 am, AT 207

School garden creation and management. An important way to encourage kids to garden is to learn about gardening at school. Growing food in a school setting is an exceptional way to teach kids about where their food comes from. Encouraging teachers to step out of the classroom and into the garden is imperative if school gardens are to continue. This workshop will provide PIR and OPI renewal credits for teachers.

Real Botanicals for Thoughtful Skincare Formulations – Annagret Pfeifer, Kettle Care Organics, 10-11 am, AT 202

How to utilize botanicals grown in your Montana garden in skin care products that you can create at home.




Dehydration for Everyone – Julie Laing, Twice as Tasty, 10-11 am, AT 203

Dried foods aren’t just for backpackers and bikepackers: They have a place in your kitchen, your child’s lunchbox, and even your ski jacket pocket. Dehydration provides nutritional, flavor, and storage benefits and both preserves and enhances a surprising range of foods. Local food blogger Julie Laing of Twice as Tasty will introduce you to the range of techniques available for dehydrating. You’ll learn how commonly purchased dried foods can be easily and cheaply dehydrated at home, and Julie will discuss some of her favorite, and likely unexpected, home-dried foods.

DIY Seed Saving and Why It’s So Important – Robin Kelson, Good Seed Company, 10-11 am, AT 204

Come learn the fun and joy in seed saving! In this interactive workshop, we’ll discuss the three basic concepts to keep in mind for successful seed saving and why it is so important we all save and share seeds.

Bound and Determined: How Soil Texture and pH Influence Nutrient Availability – Heather Estrada, FVCC Agricultural Program, 10-11 am, AT 205

Determining soil texture and working with pH issues: soil components, soil texture determination, how to measure pH, why pH matters, how you can manage pH.

Beekeeping for the Backyard – Allyson Bush, Good Bee Company, 10-11 am, AT 206

Beekeeping is a skill that can be learned; backyard bees are domesticated and need some care…we love bees.









Garden-Themed Activities for Kids Ages 8 and Up – Whitney Pratt, Purple Frog Gardens, 10 am-12 pm and 1-3 pm, AT 208-209

Drop-in activities for kids ages 8 and up!

Grow, Gather, and Make Your Own Herbal Remedies – Joleen Barce, Earth Garden Herbs, 11:15 am-12:15 pm, AT 202

“Once I gather or grow the herbs, what do I do with them?” Attendees will learn the basics of gathering wild herbs. A list will be provided of medicinal herbs that grow in local gardens and why such herbs are beneficial for our health. Herbal formulas will be shared and explained with visual aids for attendees who desire to practice making their own home remedies. This class will empower attendees who come seeking herbal knowledge.


PechaKucha: Farm to School – Gracelyn Abel moderating, FVCC Fields of Learning, 11:15 am-12:15 pm, AT 203

Series of mini-talks on the farm-to-school theme.





Beyond the Basics: Seed Saving and Selection for Earliness, Vigor, and Cold Tolerance in Our Challenging Climate – Judy Owsowitz, Terrapin Farm, 11:15 am-12:15 pm, AT 204

Judy Owsowitz of Terrapin Farm and Triple Divide Organic Seeds will talk about particular varieties and how to choose the plant populations that are the most appropriate for the Flathead. We will include a brief look at saving some of the more challenging families, i.e., wet seeded or biennial plants.

Home Canning Basics – Kathie Lapcevic, 11:15 am-12:15 pm, AT 205

Learn the basics of canning foods at home safely.







Composting That’s Right for You – Patti Armbrister, Agrarian Food Web, 11:15 am-12:15 pm, AT 206

How to compost with local products, understanding how make good compost, how to get the most out your compost, and how to be able to make and use compost extracts and compost tea.


Fruit Tree Grafting – Rod McIver, 11:15 am-12:15 pm, AT 207

In this workshop, master fruit tree grafter Rod McIver will provide actual demonstrations of both bench grafting (grafting a “scion” onto a “whip”) and top-working or field grafting, in which scions for new varieties of a fruit are added to an existing mature tree.

Community Conversation: Farmers and Chefs – Brooke Bohannon moderating, Wicked Good Produce, 1-2 pm, AT 144A

Roundtable dialogue between local chefs and farmers exploring strategies for enhancing restaurant access to local ingredients.

Community Conversation: Food Waste – Shifting the Culture – Climate Smart Glacier Country moderating, 1-2 pm, AT 144B

Roundtable discussion with local businesses and school leaders designed to unpack the cultural barriers in our community to (1) reducing food waste and (2) recycling it for compost.

Cover Crops in the Garden – Austin Allen, NRCS, 1-2 pm, AT 202

The power of cover crops for building soil health in your backyard garden.

Growing Your Nutrients – Linda Peterson, Polson Natural Wellness, 1-2 pm, AT 203

In my book, Nutrify and Detoxify: Manage Today’s Health Challenges, and in the classes I teach. I emphasize that nutrients are the basis of prevention and healing.









Grow Fresh Food All Winter – Laura Behenna, 5th Avenue Farm, 1-2 pm, AT 204

How to grow a four-season garden (gardening through the winter). Because there are over two dozen hardy vegetables that can be grown and harvested during our NW MT winters and early spring, we can have fresh food all year.





Converting Lawn to Garden – Pamela Lund, Planet B Harvest, 1-2 pm, AT 205

All you need to know to convert your lawn into a low-maintenance, organic garden. Tips for picking your location, how to prepare your soil, crop selection, and maintaining a healthy, organic growing environment.







Backyard Basics to Keeping Bees – Lisa and Wade Foley, Tamarack Apiaries, 1-2 pm, AT 206

The basics of backyard beekeeping. It seems that there are always those who want to learn about the beginnings of getting started in keeping bees.



Fruit Tree Pruning in the Flathead – Barton Morse, Garlic King of Montana, 1-2 pm, AT 207

Barton Morse, aka “The Garlic King of Montana,” will cover pruning apple, pear, apricot, cherry, and plum trees, as well as grapes. He will also bring his favorite tools and examples of branches for pruning.







Community Conversation: Sustaining School Gardens – Whitney Pratt and Caitlin Coghlan moderating, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 144A

Over the past ten years, school gardens have sprung up all over the Flathead Valley thanks to dedicated individuals, groups, and FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members who provide students with hands-on learning opportunities in growing food and producing food for school lunches. This conversation will feature a panel of garden champions from all over the Flathead Valley to discuss successes and barriers to school garden programs, from summer care to extra chaperones during garden lessons. From there, we will workshop community-based solutions to help our school gardens thrive as FoodCorps phases out of the valley in the upcoming years.

Community Conversation: Protecting Local Food Sources with Seeds – Kiki Hubbard moderating, Organic Seed Alliance, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 144B

Kiki Hubbard of the Organic Seed Alliance leads this conversation on today’s commercial seed industry, its impact on seed diversity and the critical role local seed saving and community seed libraries play in ensuring local food access.

Food Forestry and Managing a Multispecies Orchard – Leslie Lowe, Beargrass Landscape Architecture, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 202

Understanding a food forest and ways to manage diversity while improving soils and generating local sustainable foods.


Gardening from the Kitchen – Julie Laing, Twice as Tasty, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 203

The options for your garden can be so overwhelming you end up doing too much or being afraid to start. One solution is to work backward by asking, What do I want to eat, and when do I want to eat it? In this introduction to planning the season from the kitchen, local food blogger Julie Laing of Twice as Tasty will help you decide what you should and shouldn’t plant by considering what fruits and vegetables you buy, how you buy them, and where you store them. New and experienced gardeners alike will leave with a fresh outlook on the growing season.

Seed Starting 101 – Judy Owsowitz, Terrapin Farm, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 204

Judy Owsowitz of Terrapin Farm and Triple Divide Organic Seeds will cover the “what happens when” and various techniques of starting different families of seeds.

How to Garden Like a Farmer – Todd Ulizio, Two Bear Farm, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 205

Todd Ulizio will discuss techniques used by farmers that could be adopted by gardeners to make their home gardens more productive and satisfying. Topics include planting successions, weed control, and season extension. The topic relates directly to people who grow their own food by helping them become more successful.






Super Strong and Healthy Hives: The Megahive or Langstroth’s Box System – Lisa and Wade Foley, Tamarack Apiaries, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 206

The Megahive, as it has begun to be called, is a method that helps the bees do what they do best. It’s a method based on Langstroth’s box system, where you add boxes in a certain way to keep the bees working at their best and most productive levels. It naturally helps the bees be healthier, and as a result, they produce more honey. The term Megahive was started because the hives get super tall, Mega tall. The Megahive method is a natural way of keeping bees, where no chemicals need to be entered into the hive by the beekeeper. The bees are strong and healthy and take care of their own problems.

The Fun of Raising Chickens in Your Backyard! Everything You Need to Get Started – Susan Waite, Earthstar Farms, 2:15-3:15 pm, AT 207

Getting started: equipment needed, best breeds for our area, where to buy chicks, what sort of space to allow for chickens. How do I build a coop? What do I feed the chicks and hens? Growing your own fodder. When do they begin to lay eggs? What happens if I get roosters? How do I protect my new chicks from predators? What kinds of predators do we have in the Flathead Valley? What about “chicken tractors” as a cool option?

All workshops will be held at Flathead Valley Community College in the Arts & Technology Building on March 3, 2018, from 10 am-3:15 pm.