36th Annual Winter Abundance Seed & Scion Exchange

36th Annual Winter Abundance Seed & Scion Exchange

Mendocino Permaculture’s 36th Annual

Winter Abundance Workshop

Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at the Fairgrounds in Boonville

Seed, Scion & Cutting Exchange with Hands-on Fruit Tree Grafting

Admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, scion wood

All Free

Free classes all day on tree & vine propagation; how to grow your own food; how to save seeds of all kinds of food plants.

You can purchase fruit tree rootstocks cheaply here and then graft your own trees from our free scions. Come spend the day with local green thumbs who understand the unique climate zones and soils of our bioregion. You can purchase an inexpensive organic lunch, snacks, and beverages at the event. Sign up for a free hands-on grafting class, held throughout the day, where you can try out and even purchase a grafting knife. Please bring your love of plants and enjoy our daylong celebration of Abundance.

— Rain or Shine

9:00 – 4:00 Open tables – Scions, seeds, cuttings and selection advice

9:30 – 10:30 Class – Mark Albert:  Scionology – The crash course on making your own trees & vines from scions, rootstocks, cuttings, seeds. Basics of scion selection, grafting & budding, and rootstocks.

10:30 -12:00 Class- Robert Kourick: Good Fungi, Healthy Roots, Bountiful Trees.  Most plants, and especially trees, are in a symbiotic relationship with beneficial soil fungi that promote the healthiest roots for superior growth and increased yields. Robert will explain mycorrhizal association, how to promote it, and whether purchased inoculants are really needed.

10:30 – 2:00 Grafting Hands-on clinics hourly – local grafters share their techniques. You try out new knives on real wood. Buy our knife if you like it. Or bring your grafting knife to get a tune-up.

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch for sale – organic, mostly local – made by Fair Boosters & chef Jay Newcomber

1:00 – 2:15 Class – Seed Saving Basics by Gina Covina, Open Circle Seeds

2:15 – 3:30 Class – Patrick Schafer:  Advanced Grafting, Budding, Topworking Tricks, Q & A

Seed Exchange:  Seeds from local growers with local seed savers on hand. Bring your own saved and labeled seeds to share. Glass jars are good. We supply free seed envelopes.

Scion Exchange: Free scions will be available all day, with local experts on hand. Please bring labeled scions of your favorite fruit trees – especially the gems that are proven here. New varieties and your own seedlings are also welcome.  If the varietal name is unknown, just label with your name, phone, brief description.  Best scions are cut from the lower portion of the longest, straightest new shoots. Cut scions 8-12” long and clear bag them. Cuttings for rooting should be 12-18” long and bundled. Store them damp and cold on the north side of a building or refrigerate.  Cut dormant scions now or ASAP instead of waiting until the last moment in this unpredictable season. Our dormancy period is short, so picking scions early is best, especially the Prunus. We’ll have free bags and labels.

Scionology Class: The first class is basic but densely packed with information: When and how to cut, store, and label a scion or a cutting to root. How to assess the scions on the scion tables. Learn which plants are easiest and by which method. How to make a simple cutting box with bottom heat, and a seed germination box. Why some cultivars are better in our climate zone. Why different grafts are better for different seasons and situations. The reasons and methods of the different rootstocks. Previously manager of an avocado & citrus tree nursery in Santa Barbara County, Mark packs 40 years of propagation tricks into a one-hour class.

Advanced Grafting: Patrick’s class in the afternoon focuses on techniques and strategies for specific plants, how to top work trees to other varieties, summer chip budding, and answers to your individual questions. Patrick is a nurseryman, selling hardy palms, loquat, feijoa, and native persimmon, and he’s an expert on all local fruit.

Grafting Hands-on Clinics throughout the day: We have found that the hands-on class helps you to learn grafting and builds your confidence with the knife in your hand. We’ve purchased different kinds of grafting knives for you to try out. Our demo grafting knives can be purchased after the last clinic. Or bring your own knife for us to assess and sharpen for you. The clinics focus on basic techniques and the feel of the knives on real scionwood. Each of the volunteer clinic teachers may have their own unique style. There are many ways to successfully graft. Let Barbara know if you want to teach one of these short classes at a specific time slot. There will be a sign-up sheet for the clinics to keep the class size sane. There may be two clinics running simultaneously if needed.

Seedsaving Basics class: Gina Covina, from Open Circle Seeds, will teach the basics of seedsaving. Gina will share her love and passion for seedsaving, covering all of the basics, giving participants the confidence and knowledge to save their own seeds to maintain strong genetics, increase food security, and create locally adapted varieties.

Robert Kourik’s Class:
Robert is an old-timer who gardens in Sonoma County and understands our biome and soils. His books include “Understanding Roots,” “Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates,” “No-Dig Gardening, for a Healthier Soil & a Sustainable Garden” and other classic books. Robert’s class will focus on improving plant and tree growth by enhancing root growth and the living soil fungi, the mycorrhizae, that help roots to grow better and healthier. Robert will have all his books for sale at the event. We are thrilled to have him join us.

Rootstock sales: We sell over 500 tree rootstocks of major fruit types, for a few dollars each. We try to choose the best rootstocks for our climate and soil. Some years there are specific rootstock scarcities, due to crop failures, disease and extreme weather.

Plant share:
Everyone is welcome to use our venue to give away or swap plants. Due to Sudden Oak Death and other root pathogens, please minimize the attached native soil. Try to use soilless potting mixes if possible, or bring plants bare root, gently washing native soil off dormant plants. Moist pine wood shavings (sold in bags as animal bedding) are best for packing roots and scions. Wet newspaper also works short term.

Trees & plants & seeds for sale by local tree and seed companies, who are invited to come and sell. No charge to vendors.

Food sales by local people: T
he Fair Boosters are volunteers who help support the Fairgrounds and add to the Apple Fair. Please bring your own plate, utensils, & cups. The Boonville Winter Farmers’ Market will be set up for sales too.

This is a free public service event conceived by Mendocino Permaculture. It has grown and evolved over 35 years, with a lot of help from our friends. We have never missed a year! Our costs are funded only by rootstock sales and donations. There is no charge for admission, classes, seeds, cuttings, or scion wood.

This workshop is co-sponsored
by Anderson Valley Adult School and Anderson Valley Foodshed with help from the Master Gardener program of U.C. Cooperative Extension.

We appreciate volunteers for several aspects of the event. The Master Gardeners have joined our effort the last couple years, and that has been great! The Anderson Valley Foodshed, with non-profit sponsorship by the Cloud Forest Institute, is also on board. Call Barbara to see what more is needed. Feel free to pass on our email flyer to friends and to e-bulletin boards. Grafters are welcome to show us how they make their grafts, whether in a clinic or pick your own spot and set up. Everyone’s local knowledge is helpful at the scion tables. This event above all is a celebration of the plant world. It’s a day of good vibes!

About the Boonville Fairgrounds venue. We use two buildings. The classes will be in the dining hall. The scion and seed tables will be in the Library/Arts and Crafts Building. Rootstock sales, tree sales and plant exchange will be under the large eaves overhanging the library building. We are using only the front parking lot and street parking on Hwy 128 near the fairground entrance. Vehicles that arrive before 9 am will be allowed into the grounds to drop off plant material. The AV Community Library is open for its regular hours, 1:30 – 4:00 PM and their book-sale table. This is a rain or shine event – we have enough indoor space and roof cover for all of us to be sheltered should the weather turn rainy.

Please do not bring your dog. It is a Fairgrounds rule.

For more information, call Barbara/Rob at (707) 895-3897, Richard 459-5926, or Mark at 463-8672.

The latest information will be posted on the Mendocino Local Food Guide website.

Photo: Native Persimmon should ripen everywhere in the Mendoterranean Biome
Diospyros virginiana is a tough tree that bears very sweet, candy-flavored fruit about 1/3 the size of Asian persimmons. It ripens in mid-October in Willits, a month or two before Asian persimmons, and the taste is even better. Lingering astringency has been an issue, but non-astringent cultivars with fewer seeds have now been tested locally. Plants and scions of these great cultivars will become available locally in the coming years. Due to an import ban of persimmon trees, the only way to get a tree in California is to buy locally or make your own trees by grafting seedlings to proven cultivars.
We will have free fresh D. virginiana seeds to start your own rootstock.

See you there!