Saving Our Seeds


Join us this fall as we host Saving Our Seeds: A Journey through Natural and Cultural History, an exhibit highlighting the importance of seeds. The lectures, workshops, and outdoor classes below explore the significance of seeds to human nutrition, ecosystem restoration, rare plant conservation, and more. And don't miss the main exhibit at the Garden from August 27 through December 22!


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Upcoming Event
10/15/2017 3:00 PM
to 4:30 PM
Seeds and the Essence of Creation: A Poetry Reading
Registration Closed
Every seed includes the essence of what it will become. Just as the flora and fauna of our environment, and even we ourselves, spring from tiny seeds, so works of creative inspiration grow from our seed thoughts. Five local poets bring these seeds to life through the work they will share with you. Free. Preregistration Required.
Reeves Auditorium
10/28/2017 10:00 AM
to 12:00 PM
Coffee Unites the World – How Your Morning Cup of Coffee Affects Birds, Economics, and the Land
Spaces Remaining: 87
Join two local experts as they discuss coffee farming and processing and how that impacts wildlife (especially birds), the land, and the people. Enjoy a coffee tasting from Carrboro Coffee Roasters as part of this program. John will highlight the coffee growing/harvesting process from northern Nicaragua and discuss birds and other wildlife found among various 'wildlife-friendly' coffee farms. He will share his research findings on bird species that nest here in North Carolina like the beautiful Golden-winged Warbler. Scott will talk about his involvement in coffee farming and processing, how the many factors involved can affect the final cup of coffee, and how it all intersects with the environment and the people who are so closely tied to the land. As an added Saturday morning bonus, we will include a coffee tasting from Carrboro Coffee Roasters featuring examples of brewed coffee from their Farmer Direct Relationship sustainability program. Fee: $10 ($9 Members)
Reeves Auditorium
10/28/2017 1:00 PM
Penny's Bend Hike - CANCELLED
Registration Closed
Ed Harrison, Penny’s Bend Management Committee member, leads a hike through the fall landscape of this 84-acre natural area surrounded on three sides by the Eno River in northeast Durham. Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve encompasses mature forests and remnant diabase glades and prairies with regionally rare plants. About 2 miles in length, much of this hike is on primitive trails over uneven terrain, with one short, steep climb up from the river. Wear sturdy hiking footwear and bring a walking stick (if you use one) and water. Directions will be provided. Fee: $22 ($20 NCBG Members).
Penny's Bend Nature Preserve
11/2/2017 12:00 PM
to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Seeds of Success
Spaces Remaining: 79
Have you wondered how the Outer Banks recovers after a hurricane? Join our “Seeds of Success” team as we talk about coastal restoration in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Attendees virtually explore some of the east coast’s most beautiful natural areas and learn about NCBG’s role in large scale seed collection for restoration and ex-situ conservation. About LUNCHBOX Talks: Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Pre-registration required.
Reeves Auditorium
11/4/2017 1:00 PM
to 2:15 PM
Family Gardening Series: Saving Seeds for Spring
Spaces Remaining: 1
For ages 5-10 with accompanying adult. Did you know that you can save seeds in your vegetable garden to grow next spring? Join us in the vegetable patch to learn how to collect and store seeds, make your own seed packets and ‘seed tape’ to take home, and enjoy harvesting and tasting the last of the fall veggies to eat. Fee: $10 ($8 Members); no fee for accompanying adult
Growing Classroom (C110)
11/4/2017 1:00 PM
to 4:30 PM
The Wonder of Seeds: A Workshop for Educators
Spaces Remaining: 14
“Seeds are a marvel, worthy of our study, praise, and wonder…” ~Thor Hanson, author of The Triumph of Seeds We are utterly dependent on seeds, so they are, indeed, worthy of study. Learn hands-on activities to help teach basic seed biology, plant-animal interrelationships, the marvels of seed dispersal, and much more. Take home a selection of native plant seeds to plant and enhance your teaching about seeds and plants. Counts for 3.5 contact hours of Criteria II/III for North Carolina's Environmental Education Certification Program. Fee: $25 ($22 Members)
Joslin Classroom II (C107)
11/5/2017 2:30 PM
to 3:30 PM
Annual Jenny Elder Fitch Memorial Lecture: Seeing Seeds: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods and Fruit
Spaces Remaining: 64
Join us for this engrossing, narrated hour-long talk based on her award-winning Timber Press title of the same name. “Every seed tells a story.” Though small and often not noticed or examined carefully, seeds are simply amazing—what they look like, what they do, how they do it, as they work towards their astounding goal of self-replication. Teri’s tour finds strangeness and fascination in the seeds of plants as familiar as oaks and dandelions, and as curious as figs and hellebores. View the gorgeous photographs by Robert Llewellyn (she will explain his “image-stacking” technique). A reception and book signing will follow. Free; preregistration required.
Reeves Auditorium
11/8/2017 1:00 PM
to 3:00 PM
Native Seed Collection Walk
Spaces Remaining: 7
Join us at Mason Farm Biological Reserve for a tour highlighting some of the piedmont’s best fall flora while it is in seed. Participants will learn how to identify plants in seed, how to judge seed quality in the field, the fundamentals of collection, and proper seed storage. Tour participates can expect an approximately 1.5 mile walk over level terrain. Fee: $12 (NCBG Members $ 10.80)
Mason Farm Biological Reserve
11/11/2017 1:15 PM
to 11/12/2017
Edibles on Paper: Indian Corn
Spaces Remaining: 5
Saturday and Sunday, Nov 11 and 12 from 1:15 – 4:45 PM Maize or Indian corn has been domesticated throughout the Western hemisphere and revered by Native Americans for thousands of years. The multi-colored seed kernels are incredibly beautiful in their various forms. A fantastic Fall subject to paint in transparent watercolor. Join us for a weekend workshop, where you will sketch and then paint a realistic ear of corn using wet washes, dry brush and glazing. Watercolor experience helpful. Fee: $81 ($73 members). Supply Fee Included. Bring your own paint or loan a watercolor palette for $2.00 from instructor.
Joslin Classroom II (C107)
11/16/2017 12:00 PM
to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Sav(or)ing Our Seeds - Cacao to Chocolate
Spaces Remaining: 77
Come learn all about chocolate, Theobroma cacao, from its botanical origins in the Americas to how it is made into the Food of the Gods. Pete, a budding bean to bar chocolate maker, leads us in this tasty exploration into the world of cacao, culminating with a tasting of some of his Durham-made Muzina Chocolate. About LUNCHBOX Talks: Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Pre-registration required.
Reeves Auditorium
11/30/2017 12:00 PM
to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Seeding Relationships: The Philosophy of Giant Pumpkin Growing
Spaces Remaining: 87
Join us for an exhilarating and comical journey through competition giant pumpkin growing. Explore the connections between indigenous cultures, ecological relationships, and producing these massive fruit, some up to 2,000 pounds! Learn how a small seed can bring together families, and communities, and inspire future generations with green thumbs. About LUNCHBOX Talks: Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Pre-registration required.
Reeves Auditorium
12/1/2017 12:00 PM
to 1:30 PM
Book Review: An Orchard Invisible: A Natural History of Seeds by Jonathan Silvertown
Spaces Remaining: 14
Join us for a book discussion that will change the way in which we see the world. This book is one for anyone interested in nature. Seeds come to life through entertaining stories of the botany of seeds, their diversity, evolution and fate. Fee: $15 (NCBG Members $14). About the book: 'The story of seeds, in a nutshell, is a tale of evolution. From the tiny sesame that we sprinkle on our bagels to the forty-five-pound double coconut borne by the coco de mer tree, seeds are a perpetual reminder of the complexity and diversity of life on earth. With An Orchard Invisible, Jonathan Silvertown presents the oft-ignored seed with the natural history it deserves, one nearly as varied and surprising as the earth’s flora itself. Beginning with the evolution of the first seed plant from fernlike ancestors more than 360 million years ago, Silvertown carries his tale through epochs and around the globe. In a clear and engaging style, he delves into the science of seeds: How and why do some lie dormant for years on end? How did seeds evolve? The wide variety of uses that humans have developed for seeds of all sorts also receives a fascinating look, studded with examples, including foods, oils, perfumes, and pharmaceuticals. An able guide with an eye for the unusual, Silvertown is happy to take readers on unexpected—but always interesting—tangents, from Lyme disease to human color vision to the Salem witch trials. But he never lets us forget that the driving force behind the story of seeds—its theme, even—is evolution, with its irrepressible habit of stumbling upon new solutions to the challenges of life.' -UChicago Press
C. Ritchie Bell Seminar Room
12/2/2017 10:00 AM
to 12:00 PM
Seeds as Medicine
Spaces Remaining: 11
This two hour class takes us on an explorative journey from the tiny sesame to the giant coconut. We will discover the medicinal and edible properties offered by many of our most common seeds. Besides holding the genetic imprint for the continuation of their species, they also contain many life supporting nutrients that support the physical and emotional well-being of humans and other members of the animal kingdom. Let’s explore this vast cornucopia of color, shapes and sizes and see what new surprises Mother Nature have in store for us. Fee: $24 (Members $21.60)
Joslin Classroom II (C107)
12/2/2017 1:15 PM
Delicate Seed Heads in 'Draw Brush'
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Wait List Spaces Remaining: 46
Fine tune your dry brush skills with “Draw Brush”, a technique used to apply watercolor using a brush as though it were a pencil. Create a highly detailed monochromatic study to capture the delicate form of a seed head using brown and black watercolor paint. Paper and paint included. Watercolor experience helpful. Fee: $42 ($38 NCBG Members).
Joslin Classroom I (C106)
12/3/2017 3:00 PM
to 4:30 PM
Holiday Tree with Seeds
Spaces Remaining: 90
Join us for a festive and fun workshop using seeds and pods for creative ornaments and natural garlands. Thanks in advance for helping to trim our Holiday Tree with Seeds! Free. Preregistration required.
Reeves Auditorium
12/7/2017 12:00 PM
to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Native Seed Mixes in Restoration
Spaces Remaining: 86
Learn about hand collection of native seed at the commercial level. Sharon will present species-specific information and stories about where to collect, when to collect, ripeness, and storage. You’ll also learn how to create seed mixes for ecological restoration, and how to ensure success with seeding projects. About LUNCHBOX Talks: Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Pre-registration required.
Reeves Auditorium
12/9/2017 2:30 PM
to 4:00 PM
Natural Ornaments - FOR FAMILIES!
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
For ages 5 & up with accompanying adult. Decorate for the holidays naturally with acorns, pinecones, milkweed pods, and more! Use your imagination to craft your own unique ornament with materials that nature supplies. Enjoy a mug of hot chocolate to celebrate your creative work. All materials included. Note: Adult chaperone required. Fee: $10 ($8 members); no fee for accompanying adult
Joslin Combined Classroom (C106 & C107)