The Kaw Valley Seeds Project hosted its fifth annual Seed Fair Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
The Kaw Valley Seed Fair was started as a part of the Seeds Project in 2010 and has since grown into an organization of its own. The Seed Fair was designed to educate and encourage people to use non-hybrid and non-GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds.
Daniel Bentley, coordinator of the Kaw Valley Seeds Project, emphasized the importance of using local organic seeds that will grow well in the area to help promote sustainability.
"We want to teach people of the importance of saving seed and encourage them to use only locally adapted seeds," Bentley said.
As part of the fair, attendees were encouraged to bring local seeds to share and trade with other gardeners and farmers. Many vendors also sold organic homemade foods and products, as well as educational materials.
More than 30 local organizations attended the fair in the hopes of educating the community on conservation, sustainability and the importance of native plants.
Among the vendors at the fair were the Red Tractor Farm, Lawrence Food Garden Tours, Jayhawk Audubon Society, Kansas Area Watershed Council, Just Food and many other local farms and organizations.
Ron and Joyce Wolf, members of the Jayhawk Audubon Society, are avid bird watcher who stress the importance of native plants not only for the earth but for the birds as well.
"It's especially important for bird watchers to plant native plants," Joyce said. "You're not going to get many birds if you have alien plants."
Kirsten Bosmak, member of the Seed Fair organizing committee, said she hopes it will draw attention to the seed reserve started by the Kaw Valley Seed Project.
"We are trying to build a seed reserve for seeds that will do well in the area," Bosmak said. "The main idea with the fair is to emphasize education and information sharing."