Fifth Annual ‘Free the Seeds!’ Event Scheduled for March 7

Seed swap features workshops, activities and more

By Justin Franz

The fifth annual ‘Free the Seeds!’ event will be held at the Flathead Valley Community College on Saturday, March 7.

The annual seed swap usually attracts more than 1,000 people for interactive workshops, activities and more. The daylong event runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. inside the FVCC Arts & Technology Building.

Over the last four years, more than 5,600 people have attended the fair, and upwards of 75,000 packets of non-GMO, open-pollinated seeds have been given away, with about half collected locally and packed by local volunteers. Collection boxes for locally saved seeds will be available ahead of the event at ImagineIF Libraries in Kalispell and Columbia Falls and at the Good Seed Company in Whitefish. Volunteers interested in joining seed-packing parties before the fair or helping at the event can sign up at freetheseedsmontana.com.

The Free the Seeds! event is put on by the non-profit Farm Hands – Nourish the Flathead, a group dedicated to building a sustainable and resilient community through seeds, home-grown food and kills.

The event features 24 workshops from local experts, including live demonstrations and talks about building a compost tumbler, cultivating mushrooms and brewing compost tea. There are also more than 40 booths where people can sample locally grown food, test compostable packaging and learn about how to set up a garden. There will also be panels about recovering food waste, reducing plastic use and more.

For more information, visit freetheseedsmontana.com.

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