Seed Saving

by Michelle Pridgen

Why Save Seed?

Saving your own seed allows you to select plants that meet your needs. You can choose for size, color, taste or growth patterns.

Save money! Seed prices seem to rise every year. While you will probably not save everything that you need, or want, you can save a few varieties every year to ensure that you’ll always have seed. Some cultivars seem to disappear from the catalogs every year, to be replaced by hybrids or patented plants. As long as someone is growing a variety, and saving the seed, the genetics are somewhat safe. Continue reading “Seed Saving”

Free Raised Bed Workshop April 1st

Plan to join us Saturday April 1st from 10 am to 2 pm for a potluck lunch and a hands on raised bed workshop for all skill levels at the Grayson National Bank conference center in the Gywnn shopping center next to FoodCity

. We’ll talk about planting dates, spacing, interplanting and succession plantings. Using information from the best national and local gardeners you’ll learn to apply these techniques to a single raised bed or a full sized market garden. Hope to see you then! We are able to offer the workshop free of charge thanks to our FMPP grant from the USDA. The class is limited to 50 people. Please email Michelle Pridgen at independencefarmersmarket@gmail.com to register. Don’t forget to bring a dish to share.


Pre-season Vendor Meeting and Potluck lunch

Friday April 7th

Plan to join us Friday April 7st from 11 am to 2 pm for a potluck lunch  at the Grayson National Bank conference center in the Gywnn shopping center next to FoodCity

Learn about becoming an IFM vendor,sign up for the season and enjoy a potluck lunch with your fellow vendors. Please bring any scales you plan to use at the Market so they can be certified by VDACS.

It’s planting time!


Rick and Jen loaned me their broad fork so I could get a few garden beds ready for early spring crops.  It’s time to start planting peas, spinach, kale, carrots and cabbage outside.  The row cover is handy in case we get another cold snap.

The large bed rake is great for both forming and preparing beds as well marking rows for transplants or seeds.

The lettuce transplant has a nice root system and is ready to be planted. I use a marking stick to give the in row spacing on the rows created by the marking rake.  The holes are a great size for the transplants.  To speed things along, I go ahead and remove all the plants from the cell packs and drop them in the holes and then go back and firm them into the soil and water them in with a transplant solution.  I like Maxicrop, it’s a seaweed based soluble fertilizer.

Happy gardening!

Marketing & Pricing Workshop

It’s workshop season. The 1st FREE IFM workshop is Saturday March 28th from 8:30 am to noon at the Grayson National Bank Conference Center. We’re focusing on marketing and pricing your products, whether it’s vegetables, meats, eggs or artisan crafts. Mandy Archer with the Small Business Development Center at Cross Roads is our featured speaker. We’ll also have producer roundtable discussion. Join us for a potluck lunch.

The Independence Farmers Market pre-season vendor meeting

begins at noon and goes to about 2 pm. Please join us if you’d like to be a vendor this year. Fees are $40 for the season or $10 a day. Your 1st time at the market is free and it’s always free for students. We’ll be assigning spaces. Hope to see you there.

And save the date for Saturday April 18th for Market Garden Workshop.

It also starts at 8:30 am at the Grayson National Bank Conference Center. Classes in the morning include crop planning and succession planting, favorite tools and techniques , and Niche Marketing until noon, join us for another potluck lunch. Then we’ll go out to Wagon Wheel Farm for hands on workshops including different kinds of raised beds, bending low hoops, setting up irrigation, touring the high tunnel and transplant greenhouse and more.