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Annual Jenny Elder Fitch Memorial Lecture: Heirloom Seeds – Saving Stories, Preserving Biodiversity

November 1, 2020 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Interest in growing organic and sustainable gardens has skyrocketed during the pandemic, evidenced by shortages of seeds and vegetable starts. Join us as visionary seed saver, storyteller, and former NCBG volunteer Ira Wallace explores how tradition, taste, place, and storytelling work to preserve biodiversity, regional food traditions, and seed saving. She will share stories of seeds and the gardeners who save them for great heirloom varieties like Greasy beans, Cherokee Purple, and Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter tomatoes.

Ira Wallace is a worker/owner of the cooperatively managed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (www.SouthernExposure.com) which offers over 700 varieties of open-pollinated heirloom and organic seeds selected for flavor and regional adaptability. Ira serves on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance, and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming. She is a member of Acorn Community which farms over 60 acres of certified organic land in Central Virginia. Ira is an organizer of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, [www.HeritageHarvestFestival.com] a fun, family-friendly event featuring an old-time seed swap, local food, hands-on workshops and demos, and more. She also writes about heirloom vegetables and seed saving for magazines and blogs including Mother Earth News, Fine Gardening and Southern Exposure. She is author of the Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast. Her new state specific book series including, Grow Great Vegetables in North Carolina, is available online and at booksellers everywhere

Named in memory of Jenny Fitch, local plant enthusiast and passionate gardener, the Jenny Elder Fitch Memorial Lecture takes place each fall. Mrs. Fitch passed away in 1995. The endowment for the lecture series was graciously donated by her husband, R.B. Fitch, in 1997 after friends and family sent scores of memorial gifts to the Garden. We have been able to bring a renowned gardener or horticulturist to Chapel Hill each year since 1999 to present the Jenny Fitch Lecture.

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November 1, 2020
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
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