Thursday, February 21, 2013

Seed Swap

One of the great things about seeds is that they are so easy to save and swap with others. I love trading seeds with my friends and neighbors. It allows us to broaden our plant varieties without stretching our budgets.

I recently got the opportunity to swap with a friend of mine before he left for a vacation. He had already started the seeds, so instead of baggies of seeds, I got two trays of seedlings! The first tray had bush beans and English peas. I just started peas in my beds, so I am really looking forward to getting these seedlings in there and having some succession harvesting ahead of me.

022113 sprouts 1

The second tray had watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers.

022113 sprouts 2

Clint was afraid that these seedlings wouldn’t survive his absence while he is on vacation. So I swapped him seeds for his seedlings that he could plant when he returns. I gave him some corn, ground cherries, peppers, and Dragon Tongue bush bean seeds.

Seed saving and swapping has a long and important history. It has been vital to the preservation of heirloom varieties of seeds. Heirlooms are necessary because they represent culturally diverse and endangered crops and agricultural freedom. A diverse seed catalog is a cornerstone of food security. If growing seed that has been selected for your region, soil, weather, and superior flavor is important to you, then you should definitely consider taking part in this long held tradition.

Seed saving and swapping is the best way to break the hold that Mega Corps like Monsanto and Dow have on our agriculture. To further support conserving and promoting heirloom seeds, consider joining the Seed Savers Exchange. Not only do they do great work to support an enormous variety of ancient seeds, but they also offer members fantastic educational opportunities and a good discount on seed purchases.

So start talking to your friends and neighbors. Find out what kind of seeds they have laying around the house. Seed swaps are fun and economical, and they are good for plants too.

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