Tuesday, 8 March 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.