Toolshed Tips: Organize a Seed Swap

Organize a Seed Swap in Your Community

The beginning of the New Year is an exciting time to think about the garden—even while your garden beds are most likely buried in snow and you are presumably cozied up indoors, the days and hours are already tipping toward the season of growth. What a great time to inspire your garden community with talk of the garden and all that’s to come in the New Year.

One fun way to bring gardeners together at the turn of the year is to organize a seed swap. Take advantage of “National Seed Swap Day,” every year on the fatherdaughter seed swapslast Saturday of January. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, this is an opportunity for gardeners to meet and exchange their extra seeds (harvested or from packets) from the last season. Often featured are varieties that grow well in your area, personal favorites, heirlooms, and culturally significant crops. This is also a great occasion to invite returning and potential new gardeners, providing information about your garden, important dates and developments for 2014, and how to sign-up for a plot. In some communities, seed swaps function as annual events, celebrating gardening, food, cultural heritage, and crop diversity.   This may be a great opportunity to provide workshops and educational tips on seed starting, seed saving, and other timely garden topics. Whether you plan a small gathering or a community-wide event, you will have re-energized local gardeners and gardeners-to-be for the season to come—what better time to gather volunteers and new leaders for the year ahead!  Here are some links to help you plan your first seed swap (in order of depth):

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