This past Sunday Binikou made a visit to the big barn-shaped center at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) headquarters in Unity, Maine for the annual seed and scion swap. The event is a grand exchange of potential for growth, in the form of gardeners and orchardists freely sharing their own abundance of nature’s seeds and tree branches!

Binikou offered our brand new thank you gifts of seed packets, using the abundance of seeds that we grew in last year’s very, very small garden in Somerville, Massachusetts, as well as some other seeds we had a plethora of. Binikou’s seeds were snapped up faster than anyone else’s seeds! (Maybe it was the appealing artwork that we put on the packets. :-)

We met friends, shared wisdom about growing and harvesting all sorts of amazing plants and mushrooms, and came home with a bag brimming with heirloom, wild, and cultivated seeds, as well as some fruit tree scions (scions are bits of branches from trees which can be rooted or grafted onto other trees and which will grow into clones of the original tree). Binikou will offer many of these seeds as thank you gifts to contributors to the project, and many of the seeds, along with the trees, will also go into an educational heritage garden at the Palermo Community Library for it’s “Living Library” project which Binikou is creating on the land surrounding the library. (An offical announcement about this will be coming soon!)

Today, you can enjoy some photos from the seed and scion swap, which was very well attended, and which featured 8 full length tables of about 100 different apple tree scions, mostly contributed by the illustrious John Bunker from Fedco Seeds and MOFGA. John might be called the modern-day Johnny Appleseed, promoting a wide heritage of apple tree clone lineages, and preserving the most delightful apple tree cultivars from all over the world. Apple trees are a unique agricultural oddity, in that each type of apple you hear about, such as Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, or Golden Delicious, is from a single original tree that has been cloned by grafting a small branch of the original tree onto another tree (often a “crab” apple tree). This is because when trees are grown from seeds, the flavor, color, size, and texture of the apples that the tree makes varies wildly, and most people only want the sweetest apples, rather than what are often called “crab” apples. Before humans started doing this cloning/grafting, apples were often very bitter, and were mostly used to make hard cider (alcohol). Nowadays we have the option of growing more wild trees from seed, and enjoying the creativity and surprise of nature’s approach to making apples, or we can clone the ones we really like. Using both approaches keeps both apple trees and humans happy!

All kinds of seeds for free!

just a few of the thousands of apple tree twigs for grafting

who knew twigs were so valuable!

grow your own heirloom popcorn!

a few of binikou's offerings

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