By Tracy Abbas
In early December 2019, Blue Mountains Bushcare delivered the second and eagerly-anticipated Seed Collection Workshop held in Blaxland Library and Community Centre. Tracy Abbas, Council’s Bushcare Officer, organised this exciting event with seed expert Richard Johnstone. Richard was a former seed collector at Mount Annan Botanic Gardens but now plays another important role; as a volunteer with Wildplant Rescue Nursery.
Richard generously shared his immense experience and knowledge, providing attendees with a solid foundation in the principles, procedures and protocols for collection and storage of local native seed.
This Workshop was set at intermediate level, designed to strengthen the knowledge and existing skills base. It was attended by volunteers from Bush Backyards and Bushcare Groups, as well as volunteers from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Wildplant Rescue Nurseries.
The Workshop format was designed around both theoretical and practical sessions. The day began in the classroom viewing a powerpoint presentation showing the overview of the day’s events, and covered regulations and legislation when collecting seeds on Council Land. For the second session, the group wandered around the field looking for examples of seeds, flowers and fruits. Richard then showed everyone how to assess seed ripening stages and when was the most appropriate time to collect seeds.
Finally, it was back to the classroom for a discussion, participating in some cleaning of previously collected seeds and reviewing various methods of propagation of a number of different species.
The Workshop was a great success and we plan to conduct another session early in 2020 with the theme of propagation.