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Archive for Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kaw Valley to host seed fair, exchange

January 31, 2013

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Chauncey Willesen, 4, tries his hand at corn shelling at the second Kaw Valley Seed Fair at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in 2011.

Chauncey Willesen, 4, tries his hand at corn shelling at the second Kaw Valley Seed Fair at the Douglas County Fairgrounds in 2011.

Seed Fair

The 2013 Seed Fair hosted by the Kaw Valley Seeds Project is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Building 21. The event is free and open to the public.

The Kaw Valley Seeds Project will host its fourth annual Seed Fair on Feb. 9 for members of the community interested in seeds, gardening and learning more about local seeds.

“It’s a good place if you’re interested in gardening to either get started or hone your skills,” said Daniel Bentley, director of the Kaw Valley Seeds Project.

The Kaw Valley Seeds Project’s goal is to educate the public about the pleasures of growing their own food, and part of its mission is to try to get the local seed stock in the area more available. The seed fair is a way to gather local gardeners to exchange ideas, advice and local seeds.

“The interest was there,” Dianna Henry, one of the project’s founders, said. “Seed people were out there but not really knowing each other, and this gave them opportunities to meet.”

During the fair, there will be a raffle, exhibits, activities for children and vendors. Vendors vary from gardening and agriculture businesses to sustainability organizations. The Merc will have burritos, baked goods, sandwiches and other food available for purchase.

The Kaw Valley Seeds Project promotes the use of non-GMO, or non-genetically modified, seeds as well as seeds that are from the area. The fair is another way to educate gardeners who may not be aware of the difference, which members of the project said is important.

“The local aspect of it is these are seeds that have been in this area for a long time, and they’re adapted to this area,” Bentley said. “Seeds from far away may not be adapted.”

One of the most popular parts of the fair is a seed table where people can bring non-GMO seeds, books and information to exchange with each other throughout the day.

“ ... It’s pretty much mobbed all day with people bringing and taking seeds,” said Kirsten Bosnak, a Kaw Valley Seeds Project member.

The fair also received a grant from the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops at Kansas State University. The grant will help the Kaw Valley Seeds Project cover the costs of the fair.

“(Kansas State University) is really excited about the whole idea of the seed fair,” Bentley said.

The 2013 Seed Fair is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St., Building 21 The event is free and open to the public.

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