Chesapeake Intergenerational Open Seed Quest CHIO-SQ)

Chesapeake Intergenerational Open Seed Quest

An urban-rural partnership project sponsored by CHEARS and School of Living (SOL)

To foster the health and food security of the Greenbelt community, this project of the Chesapeake Education, Arts, and Research Society (CHEARS) is to support the development and implementation of a series of intergenerational hands on educational workshops, and the piloting of citizen science accessible open seed trials in the Three Sisters Gardens and Food Forest.  The project will be designed to foster community engagement and interest in fostering the diversity of local open organic heirloom seeds planted for food security and working for climate change mitigation.  The project has a focus on the history of the local Coastal Plain and Piedmont bioregion’s food heritage.  We are calling this project “Chesapeake Open Seed Quest-Greenbelt Intergenerational.”  Throughout the pandemic, CHEARS and Heathcote/SOL held a series of 8 workshops in 2020 and 2021.   The project has a special outreach to underserved youth and to senior citizens and persons with disabilities and a goal of supporting urban-agriculture and also fostering rural-urban linkages.   The project has a long term goal of establishing a local heritage open organic seed exchange library in Greenbelt and longer term throughout the watershed Light;\lsd

Virtual Home-Based Seed Saving Exchange Workshops

Learn How You Can be a Citizen Scientist Participant from Your Porch, Balcony, Yard, Garden, Farm, or even your Armchair!

The COVID-19 public health emergency has prompted us to move our planned Chesapeake Intergeneration Open seed Quest (CHIO-SQ) workshops to be online webinars and to envision a decentralized home-based approach with on-going virtual community support.  This is a fun project that people of all ages can do at home to promote food security and sustainability in their local community!

Would you like to make a difference right in your own yard or balcony, your neighborhood, and throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed in helping to foster seed diversity, more healthy pollinators, organic land care and our common food security?  

CHEARS and partners School of Living Heathcote Education are launching a new initiative for 2020 focused on co-learning and citizen science to help foster seed literacy.  We are looking for volunteers to help propagate and grow native plants, save open pollinated seeds and establish one or more seed exchange libraries.  This will help provide a source of locally adapted seed and promote local food security.

We are also offering a series of webinars to help build our skills in seed saving and plant propagation.  We aim for this project to be appropriate for all ages — young and old.  

CHIO-SQ 2022 Winter Sowing Jan 22 Workshop–and Winter Adopt a Seed Offer!
January 9, 2022 — Chesapeake Intergenerational Open Seed Quest (CHIO-SQ) project will hold a virtual on-line workshop on Winter Sowing on Saturday January 22 from 4 to 5:30PM. CHIO-SQ project also has a supply of open pollinated and heirloom seeds available for adoption. Some are for Winter Sowing, others must wait till spring. Some are even second generation CHIO-SQ grown seeds. We also hope to co-operate with the Ujamaa Co-operative Farmers Alliance and the Co-operative Gardens Commission

Click Here here to register for the Jan 22 on-line event.

Click Here here to order Winter Adopt a Seed offer.

Click Here here to access the Ujamaa Co-op site.

First a big thank you to all who have participated in our CHIO-SQ 2020/2021 webinars, or adopted some seeds or plants to steward and also thanks to all who might participate in the future!!!   
We are writing to let you know that we have some special seeds and plants in a pre-season adopt a seed/plant offer.  Some of these are heirloom special seeds we have ordered from the Experimental Farm Network, and others are ones that folks have donated that they have grown for CHIO-SQ adopt a seed in 2020 or 2021.  We also have a wonderful special donation of many native plant seeds that were grown,  saved, and donated by “agardenofdreams.”  
Some of these seeds are suitable for Winter Sowing, but others must wait for spring.  We hope to have more seeds available in early March or April, but now check out these Winter adopt a seed offerings.
Register Now to ” Order Winter Adopt Free Seeds” to grow for 2022 by Clicking Here! 
The seeds and plants listed in this offering, can be picked up by making an appointment for a drive by pickup  at two locations:Maggie Cahalan at 4 Maplewood Court, Greenbelt MD 20770.  Email or call  301-642-4851Karen Stupski, Heathcote Community,   21300 Heathcote Rd.  Freeland MD 21053.  Email or call  Karen Stupski   at     240-542-9786
We also wanted to announce that our next CHIO-SQ Virtual Workshop will be on the topic of Winter Sowing.  It is scheduled for Saturday  Jan 22 from 4 to 5:30PM.  Look for separate email for registration to get the ZOOM number soon.  As part of our Virtual Solstice Event on Dec 21, we pulled together some information on Winter Sowing (Power Point: Available Here).  Given the strong interest in this topic, we decided to have our first CHIO-SQ workshop for 2022 exploring Winter Sowing of annual and perennial seeds and hard wood plant propagation from cuttings.  This will also provide a chance for folks to share their seed experiences in 2020 or 2021.  We will also discuss our next steps with the CHIO-SQ project.  We are excited that in 2022, we hope to become an official seed “Grower” for the Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance.  
 To find out more about the CHIO-SQ project, you can access slides or recordings from some previous workshops from 2020 and 2021   Click Here for Resource Page.   Ideas welcome for our future ZOOM workshops.

 Whether your 2020 or 2021 seed growing experiment led to a harvest or not, or you are new to the project we invite you to try again this year.   We are all co-learning and now more than ever, it’s important to learn about seeds and why growing a little bit of our food is important.  This is a chance to be part of a proactive co-learning community.   We all learn by our so called “failures” and we will try again!  If you grew and harvested some seeds and would like to make them available for the CHIO-SQ exchange contact to arrange a drop-off, or you can mail them to 4 Maplewood Court Greenbelt, MD 20770We have our 2021-22 data collection form on-line.  Click hereto update us on your seeds’ experiences and to register them in our Citizen Science form

CHIO-SQ Project Resources

Chesapeake Intergenerational Open Seed Quest (CHIO-SQ)

Project Resources

Introduction to Chesapeake Intergenerational Seed Quest

Click here for powerpoint slides from 3-7-2020 workshop

Workshop 2 (April 4, 2020)

Virtual Home-Based Seed Saving Exchange Workshop

Video of Webinar

Click Here for the Power Point Slides from the April 4 workshop

Workshop 3 (May 2, 2020)

Stories of Seeds; Seed Saving and Social Justice

Video of Webinar

Click here for powerpoint slides of from 5-2-2020 webinar

Seed Saving and Social Justice Resources

Workshop 4 (June 6, 2020)

Seed Saving for Home Gardeners

with Irena Hollowell of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Video of Webinar

Click here for powerpoint slides from 6-6-2020 webinar

Workshop 5 (July 25, 2020)

Perennial Plant Propagation for Home Gardeners

with Dale Hendricks of Green Light Plants, LLC

Video of Webinar

PPT Slides of 7-25-2020 Webinar


Home Propagation Techniques

Propagate Your Shrubs from Softwood Cuttings

Grafting Video

Step by Step Guide to Grafting Fruit Trees

Workshop 6 (Sept. 26, 2020)

Sharing the Seeds of Abundance: Starting a Seed Exchange and Library

With Tegan Wong-Dougherty of the Knowlesville Art and Nature Centre

Video of Webinar

Workshop 7 (Nov 14, 2020)  

Food Security and the Cooperative Gardens Commission,

with Bonnetta Adeeb of STEAM Onward and the Cooperative Gardens Commission

Video of Webinar

Project Resources

Community Seed Banks:  Functions and Activities

Community Seed Network

Fedco Seeds

Grassroots Seed Network

Planting Dates for Vegetable Crops in Maryland

NOFA Standards for Organic Land Care

Seed Savers

Seed Saving and Social Justice Resources

Seed Saving Guide  (Handy chart listing plant varieties, characteristics and separation distances.)

Seed: The Untold Story (Documentary Film)

Seed: The Untold Story (Documentary Film Guide)

Soil Recipes

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Resources Shared by Participants

Website:  Experimental Farm Network

Website: Cooperative Gardens Commission

  • If you look at the education tab you will see extensive info as well as events etc. 
  • It is a support network of professional and passionate growers and the seed literacy component  is developing now.

Website:  Dave’s Garden

  • See trading community infrastructure is present
  • Can compose a “have” and “want” list

Film:  This Black Soil

Book: Seed to Seed:  Seed Saving and Growing Techniques, by Suzanne Ashworth.

Book:  The Wizard and the Prophet (about Norman Borlaug)

Classes:  DPR in District of Columbia has super classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays  11-1pm And Wednesdays is Q & A 12 noon-1.  This is until end of April.  Recent classes can be accessed by video.  This is the best instruction that I have ever been in for the past ten years – and FREE.  Go to DPR in DC-Josh Singer.   FOR BIG CLASS or FOR BEGINNER CLASS.  May class will be just two sessions for beginners.  Current big class is Tues  Wed. Thurs every week.

Video:  Vandana Shiva on Democracy Now