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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Swapping Seeds

by Chiot's Run

This is the time of year when most gardeners (at least us northerners) start going through our seeds and planning our spring/summer/fall gardens. I usually order my seeds in January and organize them into my seed stash when they arrive. I also have a spreadsheet that they get entered in to that contains dates for sowing, harvest, and notes about each variety after I've grown them in my garden.

Garden Planning

While organizing all of my new seeds I always come across varieties I didn't like, didn't do well in climate, or for which I just have too many seeds. Some packets come with so many seeds you'll never be able to eat all the cabbage if you sowed every seed. All of these get set aside for seed swapping. I also set aside seeds that I save from my favorite varieties of tomatoes that I've saved seeds from, after all you don't want to just give away things you didn't like.

Saving Tomato Seeds

Seed swaps can be local or global. I just traded seeds with a friend from the Netherlands. This past Saturday there was a seed swap at my local farmer's market with all the local gardeners. If you have a blog you could set up a mailing seed swap and send around a big envelope of seeds that people can take from and add too, kind of like a chain letter of sorts.


Seed Swapping

Swapping seeds is a wonderful way to find varieties that that do well in your local climate or new varieties you've never heard of. Any way you end up doing it whether local or global, I'd highly recommend swapping a few seeds. It's a great way to get rid of seeds you don't want and you make may a few new friends through the process. You may be surprised at who you meet and what you end up with.

Have you ever participated in seed swap?

I can also be found at Chiot's Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Ethel Gloves and Not Dabbling in Normal, and you can follow me on Twitter.

15 comments:

David said...

I have never tried to save seeds so I don't really have any to swap. Over the next couple years my gardening will be expanding in many different ways. I should add that to the consideration list. I took a strole through the local nursery this moning just to see how much display they have. They were busily setting up display areas but the plants were still very limited. I expect in a couple weeks the early plants will be in full display and the gardening season will be off to a roaring start.

Have a great seed swapping day.

Robert said...

I've participated in the sort of swap you mention, several times. I never had any problems, but sometimes there were complaints, not always justified. Sometimes they may have been; it was alleged that the good seeds were taken and replaced with standard varieties, but that may smply be that some people had no rarities to add. Some were alleged to have taken more than their share, but I didn't see it. What I know is that sometimes parcels disappeared, alng with the person who'd presumably just recieved them.

It works better to have everyone send their swaps to a designated individual, who hen shares it all out, but it's a lot of work for that person.

dixiebelle said...

No, but I want to! I recently sorted a heap of seeds out to give away with flyers for our PermaBlitz group stall.. I love the idea of how many people will take them and grow them... and hopefully save seed and pass them on!

Seeds, what wonderful things...


http://eatatdixiebelles.blogspot.com/2010/02/save-our-seeds.html

LindaG said...

I never have, but it sounds like fun. We tend to just grow the basics when we grow, because hubby is a very 'meat and potatoes' type of person.

For someone who is totally clueless, can you explain how you set up your spreadsheet and notes; or point to an easy to learn website?

Thanks for your post, though, made me smile. ;)

LindaG said...

Oops. Forgot to request follow-up comments. I fail. ;)

sawn61 said...

I've thought about trading seeds across the water before, but I was afraid customs,or whoever makes those rules, would not allow it,for fear of transferring some type of dreaded plant disease or some other silly concern they might have.

Quatrefoil said...

Don't send seeds to Australia! Sending plant and animal material is prohibited by our quarantine laws and the penalties can be severe.

Even within Australia there are a lot of restrictions on what can be sent across state borders, particularly to Tasmania. These rules are in place to prevent damage to native plants and animals and to protect agricultural industries from damaging disease.

emilysincerely said...

I learned to save seeds from my mom when I was young. We still share & trade plants and seeds. I am constantly trading plants and seeds with one of my neighbors. There is a garden show in town 1x a year where you can take a plant to swap for another or seeds to swap also. Love seed saving. Love seed swapping too. Emily

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Last month, for the first time I participated our local seed-saver group seed exchange meeting. I had so much fun and hopefully can participate again for the next meeting.

Rei Khalo said...

I love seed swapping , and love it as a party style event. My family has so much fun just getting together and trading.

Rei Khalo said...

I love seed swapping , and love it as a party style event. My family has so much fun just getting together and trading.

Rei Khalo said...

I love seed swapping , and love it as a party style event. My family has so much fun just getting together and trading.

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watching kereru said...

Hey seed and seedling swaps are great. Here is a post I did on our local swap back in the Spring:
http://watchingkereru.blogspot.com/2010/10/organic-seed-and-seedling-swap.html

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