Seattle Farm Co-op Debuts Seed Library at Plant Swap

Free plants? And free seeds? Can it be true?

Yes, this Sunday, May 14, 1-3 p.m. at the Seattle Farm Co-op in Rainier Valley, gardeners can take part in a free plant swap.

As if that’s not enough, the co-op will have edible seeds to browse and share — because they have become the newest location for the King County Seed Lending Library!

Farm Co-op plant swap

The plant swap is co-sponsored by the farm co-op and the Rainier Valley Rotary Club. They invite all Southeast Seattle gardeners to bring plants to swap and bring gardening questions.

The Farm Co-op store will be open, so you can browse the gardening supplies and animal feed. The co-op hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Farm Co-op Ad

Join us for Open Sesame, new seed film

One of the world’s most precious resources is at risk. This timely and emotionally moving documentary, Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds, being shown this Sunday in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, illuminates what is at stake and what can be done to protect and nurture our seed supply.

Sustainable Ballard’s Meaningful Movies is hosting, and the King County Seed Lending Library will be on hand for information and to hand out free seeds. Coordinator Bill Thorness will lead a discussion on the issue after the film.

The film will be shown at the Royal Drummer Cafe, 6420 24th Ave. NW. The cafe will offer its full menu (sandwiches, salads, coffee, beer and wine).

Open Sesame flyer

About the issue

Seeds provide the basis for everything from fabric, to food to fuels. Seeds are as essential to life as the air we breathe or water we drink…but given far less attention.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), approximately 90 percent of the fruit and vegetable varieties that existed 100 years ago no longer exist today. Heritage grain is near extinction. Seeds that were lovingly nurtured over decades or even hundreds of years have been lost forever.

And yet, seed diversity is more important than ever. Maintaining seed biodiversity allows breeders to create new varieties that are resistant to pests or thrive in temperature extremes. This is essential in a changing climate.

Meanwhile, corporations are co-opting seed genetics using patent law and just a few large companies control the vast majority of the seed supply.

About the film

In this film you will meet a diverse range of individuals whose lives center around seeds. Farmers. Renegade gardeners. Passionate seed savers. Artists. Seed activists. This film tells the story of seeds by following their challenges and triumphs as they work to save this precious resource.

Sustainable Ballard’s Meaningful Movies screenings are free, but a $5 donation to offset costs is appreciated. Come early, as the Royal Drummer will be offering happy hour prices on its entire menu before the screening.

Download the OpenSesameFlyer PDF – post & share

Seed Swap Scenes

An estimated 150 gardeners attended the Great Seattle Seed Swap yesterday, scooping small handfuls of seeds into packets, sitting in on short workshops, and visiting with non-profits and Krista Rome from guest seed company Resilient Seeds. It felt good to rub elbows with other gardeners intent on planning their 2017 vegetable garden, even though it’s too early to plant.

Here are some images from the event.

Paige
Paige, assisted by online searches, helped shoppers identify traits of plant varieties offered.
Checking a list
An attendee checked a list of desired seeds.
P-Patch
P-Patch staff warmly greeted gardeners and shared info on their program.
Seed ball workshop
Christy of the Seattle Farm Co-op added water to a soil-and-seed mixture that was turned into “seed balls” filled with pollinator-attracting flower seeds for a young attendee.
Laura from Seattle Tilth shared tips on basic seed saving in a well-attended workshop.
giant allium seedhead
A giant allium seedhead contributed by an attendee.
Legume table
Beans and peas were popular.
Shopping
Attendees lined the tables to package and share seeds. Many brought packages from their own gardens.
Seed screen
A seed screen at a demo table.

If you couldn’t attend this one, see our Events listing for more area seed swaps.

Clean Seeds at Saturday’s Swap

Want to try your hand at cleaning some seeds? We’ll be doing it this Saturday at the Great Seattle Seed Swap.

We have a bunch of seeds to clean, from easy beans to tiny radish seeds, both in their pods and ready for shelling. But we also have orach, mustard and arugula. You clean it, you can take it home!

Seeds to be cleaned
A variety of seeds are waiting to be cleaned at this Saturday’s swap.
Seed screens
What does a softball have to do with seed cleaning? Come and find out this Saturday at the seed swap!

You don’t have to clean seeds (or bring them) to participate in the Great Seattle Seed Swap.

We have many seeds for sharing, all neatly organized and labeled in glass jars. We have envelopes for you to package a few that look interesting. We have a resource table for you to research seeds of interest. And we’ll have people on hand to suggest how to grow those seeds to become a great part of your garden.

Four Seed Swaps Coming: Learn and Share

Details are coming together for the Great Seattle Seed Swap, sponsored by the King County Seed Lending Library. Three swaps are planned around the city, with a fourth being held by our friends in the Snoqualmie Valley.

The first event is the 4th annual Seed Swap in Northwest Seattle (share our Facebook event), set for Saturday, Jan. 28, which is National Seed Swap Day. Get some seeds, visit with exhibitors Seattle Tilth, P-Patch, Resilient Seeds and the Seattle Farm Co-op, and enjoy three 15-minute workshops.

 Details of each swap:

Northwest Seattle: Sat., Jan. 28, 1-3 p.m., Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in the Community Hall of the Brick Building

Snoqualmie Valley: Sat., Feb. 4, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Cedarcrest High School, 29000 NE 150th St., Duvall

Northeast Seattle: Sat., Feb. 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Meadowbrook Community Center, NE 105th and 35th Ave/ NE

West Seattle: date/time TBA

How to participate:

  • Please bring seeds if you have them. They can be homegrown or store-bought — even partially used packets. They should be recent, 3 years old or less. No hybrids or GMO seeds.
  • If you will be bringing seeds to swap, please arrive at the beginning of the event to set out your seeds.
  • Make a display card for your seeds stating the variety, year saved, and brief notes about growing the plant.
  • It is not necessary to bring seeds to participate.
  • Seeds will be organized by type of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.
  • Attendees will be asked to limit the seeds they take so all may share in the supply.
  • You may donate your extra seeds to the seed lending library, which will have them available throughout the year.

At the Northwest Seattle event, enjoy these 15-minute workshops:

1:30-1:45 Basic Seed Saving – Laura Matter, Seattle Tilth

2:00-2:15 Make a Seed Ball! – Christy Cusick, Seattle Farm Co-op

2:30-2:45 Meet Our Bioregional Seed Companies – Bill Thorness, KCSLL

A resource table of books, seed catalogs and other material will be available for browsing.

At the Northeast Seattle event on Feb. 11, gardening author Bill Thorness, coordinator of the Northwest Seattle library branch, will give a lunchtime talk on seed starting and the seed-saving movement at noon.

Contact us to volunteer for a seed swap!

Join Us at Great Seattle Seed Swap, Jan. 28

Want to try Brightest Brilliant Quinoa? How about Roquette Arugula? Vit Corn Salad? Maybe Pellegrini Beans, Purple Orach, or the simple but beautiful Lemon Queen Sunflower? They’ll all be at our Great Seattle Seed Swap and ready for your garden.

The 4th annual Seed Swap will be held Saturday, Jan. 28, 1-3 p.m., at the Phinney Neighborhood Center in northwest Seattle (Community Hall, Brick Building, enter from lower parking lot).

  • Chat with other gardeners and seed-savers about favorite varieties.
  • Review the library’s table of catalogs, books and resources.
  • Visit the Seattle Tilth table for information on their programs.
  • Attend a brief workshop.

Want to make a “seed ball”? That’s one of the 15-minute workshops that will be offered at the event. Others will be on simple seed saving and learning about our bioregional seed companies.

See our Events page for other swaps.

For more information or to volunteer, drop us a line!

Our new site

Welcome to our new website. We are evolving our online presence to Pea shootbetter serve our community.

Most of the seed-saving articles, resources and links have been moved over from the old site. If you do not find something that you previously saw on our old site, drop us a line and we’ll try to get it for you.

Are you a web expert? We’re always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to share their talents, and would welcome help with our website.

Contact us at info@kingcoseed.org for more information or to offer your help. Thanks!