The Art of Seed Saving with ‘The Seed Huntress,’ an Online Talk

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Sefra Alexandra, “The Seed Huntress,” will discuss her work with seed saving for conservation, multiplication and distribution. Her talk, hosted by Darien Library, takes place online from 7 to 8 p.m., Monday, Sept. 21. — an announcement from Darien Library

This work supports seed sovereignty through the different initiatives she’s worked on at the local, national, and international scales. She’ll look at the importance of in situ (in place) seed banking and of ex situ (cold storage) seed saving strategies.

Unsolicited seeds, apparently from China 2020

If You Were Mailed Any Seeds You Didn’t Ask For, Please Report That to CT Department of Agriculture

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Amid reports nationwide — including in Connecticut — of people getting seeds in the mail that they didn’t ask for, apparently sent from China, the state Department of Agriculture is asking anyone who gets them to report

It isn’t known how safe it is to plant them, because they could be invasive plant species, state officials said in a news release. Here’s the announcement:(followed by an announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture):

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) and The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) have been notified that several Connecticut residents have received unsolicited packages containing seeds that appear to have originated from China. The types of seeds in the packages are unknown at this time and may be invasive plant species. The packages were sent by mail and may have Chinese writing on them. Unsolicited packages of seeds have been received by people in several other states across the United States over the last several days.

Darien Pollinator Pathway Sign

Presentation on the Living Seed Bank Initiative, Thursday at Gardener’s Center and Florist

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Darien Pollinator Pathway presents Dina Brewster, executive director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA), who will talk about the Living Seed Bank Initiative — what it is and why it is so important for the Pollinator Pathway. — an announcement from the Darien Pollinator Pathway

Brewster will discuss the importance of wild seed collection in our eco region and talk about the project that will usher the seeds through propagation and into pollinator habitats in Darien and other Connecticut towns. After the keynote by Brewster, guests can visit the information tables for Seed Collection, Founder Plots, Growers, Retailers, Pollinator Pathway, and Darien Land Trust. Light refreshments will be served. This event will be held at the Gardener’s Center & Florist, 1396 Post Road

Rowayton Gardeners Christmas Market Coming Saturday, Dec 7

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From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, the Rowayton Community Center transforms into a stunning showcase of holiday decorations with the annual Rowayton Gardeners’ Annual Christmas Market. — an announcement from Rowayton Gardeners

The Market, which takes place at the Rowayton Community Center, 22 Highland Ave., features designer-quality wreaths and center pieces, one-of-a-kind gifts, boxwood trees and ornaments — all reasonably priced. A range of fabulous items are on offer at the silent auction, and Santa is also on hand to welcome children and grandchildren. Come support the Garden Club’s mission of spreading the word about conservation, maintaining most of our public spaces, introducing children to the joy of growing living things, and raising community awareness about the environment.

Pesticides in Parks and Playing Fields: Documentary and Discussion with Filmmaker Coming Oct 1

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A screening of the film “GroundWar: When Playing Fields become Battlefields,” followed by a discussion with the film maker, will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1 at Darien Library. — an announcement from Friends of Animals
When documentary filmmaker Andrew Nisker’s father, Harold, an avid golfer who was always the picture of health, fell ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, he was heartbroken and perplexed and then alarmed at what he learned. Exposure to pesticides is a marker of the disease and the only place his father could have been exposed was at the golf course, he reveals in his newest film. “My father would be walking through these fields of greens, be he had no idea how those fields were kept and what was being sprayed,’’ Nisker said.

Vegetable Garden Bartlett Arboretum

Vegetable Garden Tour Offered Sunday, Sept 1 at Bartlett Arboretum

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Bartlett volunteers who are responsible for the design and maintenance of the Bartlett’s Vegetable Garden, will talk about Fall harvesting of late season vegetables. The tour should last approximately 45 minutes.  This tour is suitable for children.  Flat shoes are recommended. Meet in front of the Silver Education Center at 11 a.m.
Spaces are limited, click here to reserve your spot today!

Darien Nature Center Darien Pollinator Pathway

Volunteers Work to Create Native Plant Habitat in Part of Darien Nature Center

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Out with the old, in with the new. A group of town residents rang in the month of August by clearing out an overgrown area behind the Darien Nature Center to make way for a native plant habitat. — an announcement from Darien Nature Center

Victoria Heyne, Deepika Saksena, Eve Mauger, Eliza Wetmore, Juliet Cain, Sig Buchmayer, Chris Filmer, Charlie Wetmore all volunteered hours of their time to make this possible. Saksena, co-chair of the Darien Pollinator Pathway group, said the plot had been overrun by phragmites, which are large perennial grasses normally found in tropical regions. Saksena said she and other volunteers plan to revegetate the spot with species that are native to Connecticut, in addition to existing milkweed plants.

Dead Trees from Eversource

Eversource Removing Diseased and Dead Trees Across the State

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Together with the Connecticut Department of Transportation and local tree wardens around the state, Eversource is addressing the diseased or dead trees that are causing/heightening concern. — an announcement from Eversource

Environmental researchers and arborists around the state of Connecticut are working to raise awareness of the rapidly growing problem of dying, dead and hazardous trees. The energy company’s team of licensed arborists are experts at identifying weakened or hazardous trees that have been killed or stressed by the ongoing insect infestations and drought and threaten electric reliability for customers. “Our year-round work to trim trees away from powerlines and to remove hazardous trees throughout Connecticut is more critical than ever because of the lasting effects of the drought combined with consecutive infestations by the gypsy moth and the emerald ash borer,” said Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Alan Carey. “In my travels around the state, I’ve seen the high tree mortality rate first hand.

DCA Greenhouse Group 2019

55th Annual — or Should We Say Perennial? — DCA Plant Sale Coming Friday, May 10

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Beautiful plants at great prices, all for a good cause, will be offered on Friday, May 10 at the Darien Community Association from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Enjoy free coffee and tea with home baked scones and muffins while you shop, learn and socialize. There is no fee for entry to the plant sale or the workshops offered with it. — an announcement from the Darien Community Association

The DCA Plant Sale, run by the DCA Greenhouse Group, offers over 1,500 naturally-grown hardy perennials from their greenhouse: sun-loving, shade-loving, native, deer-resistant, and highly-prized new plants are available. They are also offering colorful annuals and some newly-introduced succulents. Tomatoes and other favorites you just can’t live without will also be for sale.

dca free gardening workshop for facebook

Free Spring Gardening Workshop on April 23 at the DCA

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Finally – spring is here! Members of the Darien Community Association Greenhouse Group are again offering a free gardening workshop on Tuesday, April 23. — an announcement from the Darien Community Association

Join the group to divide and transplant perennials, plant containers, and prune shrubs on the DCA grounds. Novice gardeners will be given guidance; experienced gardeners are welcome to just help out. Participants should wear clothes appropriate to gardening, and bring any hand tools available (trowel, hand shovel, clippers; the group will have extras).

Two Days of Earth Day-Related Presentations and Programs at Grace Farms, April 26 to 27

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In celebration of Earth Day (Monday, April 21), Grace Farms Foundation has a two-day lineup the following Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, of programs, activities and expert-led discussions about the importance of restoring local native habitats. — an announcement from Grace Farms Foundation and the Nature Conservancy

The annual weekend of events, conducted in partnership with the Nature Conservancy, also includes a lecture and community day. The two-day program provides an opportunity for people across generations to reconnect with nature and learn about practical ways to restore biodiversity to their own backyards or communities. “There are simple ways that we can all reconnect with and Restore Wild in our own backyards — like planting native and pollinator friendly species — by doing this we help the natural world and our communities thrive,” said Mark Fowler, Nature Initiative Director at Grace Farms Foundation. See also:

Darien Pollinator Pathway website
Darien Pollinator Pathway 2019 on Darienite.com
Join Masons in Cleaning Up Six Historic Darien Cemeteries on Saturday, April 20 (April 9)

“Through our 80-acre landscape and program partnership with the Nature Conservancy, we hope to mobilize people to be part of the solution and take action to restore a healthy balance between people and nature,” Fowler said.

Doug Tallamy Darien Pollinator Pathway

Author Doug Tallamy Speaks on Helping Pollinators Thrive, March 7 at Darien Library

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Support pollinators to support the human existence. This will be the topic of discussion when nationally recognized author Doug Tallamy visits Darien for a special lecture, “A Guide to Restoring the Little Things that Run the World.”

— an announcement from the Darien Pollinator Pathway and Darien Library

Presenter Doug Tallamy will remind us of the many essential roles insects play, and describe the simple changes we can make in our landscapes and our attitudes to keep insects on the ground, in the air, and on our plants. This valuable population has been on a steady decline since 1974. The discussion topics will include ways in which we can make changes in our environment to help this population thrive. Tallamy will speak at the Darien Library on Thursday, March 7 at 7 p.m..

Bee suit person Darien Pollinator Pathway event

About 50 People Learned More About the Darien Pollinator Pathway at Event

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The Darien Pollinator Pathway held its first event on Wednesday, Jan. 23, where over 50 people enjoyed an evening of wine and cheese while learning about the background of the Pathway. — an announcement, slightly adapted, from the Darien Pollinator Pathway organizers

They also learned about the need to help save our pollinator population which is in drastic decline because of pollution, climate change and loss of habitat. The evening was hosted by the Gardener’s Center and Florist, one of the collaborators in the Pathway. The Pollinator Pathway is seeking to restore the balance by encouraging people to landscape without using synthetic chemicals and to include native plants in their yards.

Monarch butterfly Darien pollinator path

Darien Pollinator Pathway Event with Wine, Cheese, Classes on Native Seeds and Floral Design

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Mark your calendars! The Darien Pollinator Pathway will be hosting a wine and cheese evening at the Gardener’s Center and Florist on Jan, 23. The event is free and open to everyone. It will feature two classes by the Gardener’s Center: a native seed planting class presented by Kris Barker, and a class in floral design using native flowers presented by Kate O’Keefe. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the first class starts at 6.30 p.m. There will also be a raffle, with prizes including a magnificent bottle of wine donated by Sipstirs and a landscaping consultation with Kate O’Keefe.