Greetings, fellow seed steward!
This year we are giving the "Seed Swap" its own space and time at the "Free the Seeds!" event on March 4, 2017 to better accommodate all the seeds and seed sharers.
WHEN: 8 am-noon
WHERE: Room 144 A/B, FVCC Arts & Technology Bldg .
This page will tell you what you need to know about:
- bringing seeds, starts, cuttings and scions to share
- seed swaps generally
- seed swap etiquette
- seed swap volunteering
GOT SEEDS TO SHARE? BRING THEM EARLY AND ENTER OUR RAFFLE!
In order to efficiently get more seeds out to more people at the fair this year, we are encouraging all our fellow seed sharers to drop off their donations early - weeks early, even, like...now! This will give us time to go through the contributions and pre-package them (we're enlisting the support of local middle and high school students to undertake this - go kids!).
To entice YOU to go through your seed supply and set aside a quantity of non-GMO, non-hybrid seeds to contribute to the seed swap, we've created a RAFFLE. For every package/container of seeds you drop off early, you will be entered into the raffle with a chance to win a wide array of prizes. The quantity of seeds does not matter; each individual package/container will be considered as a separate entry.
Here are the details for early drop-off and raffle entry:
DROP OFF LOCATIONS & TIMES:
Columbia Falls ImagineIF Public Library, 130 6th St W. Hours: M-TH 10-6; F&S 12-4
Kalispell ImagineIF Public Library, 247 1st Ave. E Hours: M-F 10-6; S 10-5
Whitefish Good Seed Company, 100 2nd St E, #305 (top floor, end of hall) Hours: M-F 9-5
DROP OFF DETAILS:
- A clearly labeled Free the Seeds! Donation Bin is located at the entrance of each location for your convenience.
- Bring your seeds in non-glass containers (envelopes, Zip-loc-type baggies, or sealed paper bags are great)
- Label each container with at least these 3 pieces of information: (1) plant common name and variety (2) year seeds collected (3) seed source (who grew it and where). Ex: "Peas, Sugar Snap; 2014; Robin Kelson, WF Community Garden". If you include your name, we'd love to acknowledge you on our website!
- TO ENTER RAFFLE: Attach your name and contact information (tel and/or email) to your whole seed donation, or inside each container.
RAFFLE winners TBA @ 12:15, after Seed Swap, on March 4th. You do NOT have to be present to win.
THANK YOU for sharing seeds with your community... and delivering them early!
What’s a “Seed Swap”?
A group of people coming together to share, exchange and/or give away their extra non-GMO, open-pollinated seeds, starts and cuttings. Sometimes, the seeds are saved by the individual and sometimes they are commercially produced. Many wonderful heirlooms are exchanged at seed swaps.
Seed swaps also turn out to be fun ways to share information with others and develop a growing network of friends interested in growing (and saving seeds!).
Annual seed swaps also help build a community’s inventory of robust, healthy seeds that grow well under different conditions by being grown in different backyards and gardens.
What does “non-GMO, Open-Pollinated” mean and why is that important?
You want to know that the seeds you bring home from a seed swap and plant in your garden will grow up to be the plant the person who gave you the seed said it would be, especially if you want to save seeds from those plants next year. To have this confidence you need open-pollinated, non-GMO seeds.
“Open-pollinated” means that progeny seeds collected from the plants grown from your seed swap seeds will produce substantially the same plant as what you planted this year. This is known as growing “true to type”. All heirloom seeds are open-pollinated seeds. By contrast, seeds from new hybrids or “F1” varieties will NOT grow “true to type”. The variety is still too new, and the plant genetics are too scrambled to reliably produce viable seed of the same type. (Think of trying to reliably predict what the pup litter would look like if you crossed a poodle and a dachshund.)
“Non-GMO” means the plant variety from which your seed swap seeds came were NOT modified in a laboratory to contain non-plant DNA. Those that have been modified are called “GMO plants” for “Genetically Modified Organism”. Seeds from GMO plants generally do NOT grow true to type. In addition, the long-term impact of GMO’s is not yet known and they may be deleterious to the people, pets and beneficial insects that eat them.
How does the “Free the Seeds!” seed swap work?
This year the Seed Swap will have its own room (Rm 144 A/B). Seeds will be pre-packaged, and will organized by crop (vegetables, flowers, herbs, cover crop), and alphabetically by kind.
The Swap runs from 8am - noon, after which we will be breaking down the room to set up for the community conversations that take place in the afternoon. If there are seeds left over, we intend to have them available outside the class room.
How Many Seeds Can I take?
If all goes according to plan this year, all the seeds will be pre-packaged. (This is why delivering seeds to our drop-off locations is important).
Please take only one packet of any variety. This ensures there will be enough for others. Generally a dozen or so healthy plants of any variety is plenty, so 10-25 seeds is more than enough of any variety for the average garden. Even though the envelopes may look small, you'll be getting plenty of seeds to get you started. While it is hard to believe sometimes, it really is true that every tiny seed can grow into a big, healthy, productive plant!
I Want To Bring Seeds/Starts/Cuttings to the event to share. What do I need to know?
First, thank you for sharing!
Second, if you want to share seeds, especially a large quantity of seeds, it helps us tremendously if you can drop them off ahead of time at one of our Drop-Off locations (see above). If that's not possible, or you plan to bring starts, cuttings, or scions, here's what you'll want to know:
The Swap is from 8am-noon this year. If you are bringing seeds, starts, cuttings or scions to the Fair on March 4, look for the drop-off table located at entrance of Free the Seeds! And, remember: ONLY non-GMO, open-pollinated seeds, please!
If you are bringing a large quantity of starts or cuttings to share, please consider coming early (7:30 am or so) so we can accommodate your items easily.
Please provide as much of the following information as possible about your seeds/starts/cuttings. It is important to the person growing the items you are bringing to share. A simple, hand-written sign is fine.
SEEDS, STARTS, CUTTINGS, SCIONS:
- Common Name and Variety
- Latin Name (genus and species) - if you know it
FOR SEEDS, PLS ADD:
- Year seeds were collected
- Where they were grown and who grew them (aka "Seed Source")
Want to Volunteer at the Seed Swap?
It's easy! Just click on "volunteer" in the red menu bar at the top of your screen, fill out your information and we'll contact you to plug you in!
Thanks again, fellow Seed Steward and...see you at the Fair on March 4th!