NOFA-NH and Canterbury Shaker Village Partner to Offer Seed Workshops

CANTERBURY — Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH) will offer two seed related workshops at the historic Canterbury Shaker Village on February 21 and 22.

"The Power of Seeds: Rebuilding Our Seed Heritage" will be offered on Friday, February 21 from 6-8 p.m. A Seed Production Technical Assistance Workshop for farmers and gardeners will be offered on Saturday, February 22 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, Founders of Fruition Seeds, will instruct both workshops.

"The Power of Seeds: Rebuilding Our Seed Heritage" will focus on the history, significance and techniques of seed saving. Using simple tools, participants will have an opportunity to clean wet- and dry-seeded crops as well as bring home some seed. Participants can expect to come away inspired and empowered on how you can start saving seeds and be a part of rebuilding our seed heritage. The cost to attend is $12 for Canterbury Shaker Village and NOFA-NH members, $13.50 for not-yet-members and includes refreshments. Registration is limited to 60 people.

The Seed Production Technical Assistance Workshop will be a hands-on training program for NH organic farmers and gardeners that will teach the skills necessary for saving high-quality organic seed. The training program will take place for one full-day session and will combine classroom training with hands-on experience (seed cleaning) in important aspects of plant breeding and seed production. The cost to attend is $40 for Canterbury Shaker Village and NOFA-NH members, $45 for not-yet-members and includes lunch. Registration is limited to 50 people.

"Canterbury Shaker Village is pleased to be partnering with NOFA-NH to present these two agriculture related workshops at our historic site," noted Maisie Daly, Education Manager "The Shakers were pioneers in the field of agriculture and invented the seed packet. Hosting today's farmers to discuss and learn practical skills about how to maintain and build our seed heritage is in keeping with that legacy."

Fruition Seeds is committed to seed source transparency with a goal to help educate growers in locating seeds best suited to their needs and offer solutions to help manifest an economic, ecological, and cultural shift in the nation's food system. Co-founder and workshop instructor, Petra Page-Mann has worked for seed companies on both coasts, on homesteads and for a multinational seed company where she developed the skills, commitment and vision to revitalize our regional seed supply here in the Northeast. Co-founder and workshop instructor, Matthew Goldfarb began his career in farm-based education and sustainable food production and distribution systems in 1994. Since then he has studied and worked within this field in a number of positions including: the design and management of diversified farms, consulting work with farms and farm-education organizations, conducting small farms research at Cornell, teaching high school biology and agriculture, academic work in Rural Sociology. He holds a Masters in Business in Administration from Babson College.

"Teaching farmers, gardeners, land care professionals and consumers the art and importance of traditional seed breeding and saving is a direct way to ensure that more regionally regenerative, ecologically sound gardening, farming, and land care practices are being used throughout the state," noted Ray Conner, Beginning Farmer Program Coordinator, NOFA-NH. "Seed breeding and saving is a perfect next step in the evolution of organic agriculture in our state. I look forward to seeing some seed farms sprout up in NH."

To register for one or both of these workshops, visit