Join Tilth Alliance for Seed Workshop May 18-19

What has infinite potential? Join fellow seed folks and seed savers to find out! In this 2-day weekend workshop offered by Tilth Alliance, we will explore seed stewardship, science, and our social-cultural connections to seeds. Participants will learn through in-depth discussions, hands-on practice, sharing seed stories, and exploring a curated set of resource materials.

This 2-day course will meet at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands, and will include:

  • Participatory lessons about plant life cycles from germination to pollination
  • Practical, hands-on skill development in saving seed and garden tours
  • Facilitated group conversations and reflective activities about history, culture and our relationships with seeds
  • Resources and guides for independent learning

Learning topics, activities and resources will include:

  • Seed terminology and basic biology
  • Garden planning for seed saving genetic diversity in seed breeding
  • Seed histories and cultural seed stories
  • Harvesting, processing and saving seeds
  • Understanding seed distribution and access
  • Creating personal action plans & next steps

Seed to Seed is an invitation to deepen your relationship with food, place and yourself, alongside a community of fellow gardeners and farmers. Participants can expect to build their functional understanding of how to save seed, while also developing their own personal connections to food systems and creating actionable plans in their lives.

This course is appropriate for intermediate gardeners and farmers, who have some experience with growing vegetables. Please note that this course will not be covering information about general gardening practices – if you are interested in learning more about how to grow food in the Pacific Northwest, we recommend Tilth Alliance’s Comprehensive Organic Gardening course. Read more FAQs here.

Sessions will take place from 10am-3pm on Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th at Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands. Classes will be both indoors and outdoors – please be prepared for outdoor activities and dress for the weather. Accessibility notes: the Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands has a gravel parking lot, mostly flat terrain, and a mix of paths that are paved, crushed gravel and wood chips.

Class fee includes a copy of The Seed Garden – The Art & Practice of Seed Saving by Seed Savers Exchange, and comprehensive class materials.

Seed To Seed Workshop — More information and Registration

Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange Coming March 16

​The 2024 Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange will be held at the Red Barn/Picnic Shelter at Tolt Macdonald Park in Carnation, WA on Saturday, March 16, 10am – 12 noon. 

This is an open-sided facility with large picnic tables inside for spreading out the seeds. It could be chilly….or glorious….on March 16 so plan to wear some layers to stay comfortable.

There is plenty of free parking available in two lots within short walking distance of the Shelter. There are also handicapped spots for those who need them.

a table of seeds at the Exchange

About the Seed Exchange

The Seed Exchange is a volunteer-led project. We are grateful that Sno-Valley Tilth will have us as one of its projects! This means your contributions are fully tax deductible as a charitable contribution to a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Other local entities involved in our seed exchange: Strategies for Provident Living and the Cedarcrest High School Future Farmers of America.

What do we do with seeds remaining at the end of the seed exchange? We share seeds with several local giving gardens, including Hopelink’s Carnation garden, the garden at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Bellevue, the Stillwater School garden, the Granite Falls Boys and Girls Club, the Crossroads School Garden, the Fall City Learning Garden, a community garden that grows produce for the benefit of the Fall City Community Food Pantry.

We also share seeds with the Cedarcrest High School horticulture students, who grow salad greens for the high school cafeteria lunches.

Join Tilth for Learning at Seed Swap

The Great Seattle Seed Swap is just around the corner — coming on Saturday, Feb. 24, 1-4 p.m. at the Phinney Center. Bring your home-saved or leftover packets of seeds, or just come to pick up some new varieties and talk seeds with other gardeners.

This year a series of presentations by Tilth Alliance will deepen your understanding of seed-saving.

Make some time for these hands-on activities and fun educational presentations:

  • 1:30 p.m. — Beginner Friendly Seed Saving
    • We’ll discuss the basic biology of seed saving and share some beginner-friendly recommendations to get started saving (and then sharing!) your own seeds.
  • 2:30 p.m. — Harvesting Seeds
    • How do you know if your seeds are mature and ready to harvest? We’ll discuss how to assess seed maturity and some strategies for harvesting.
  • 3:30 p.m. — Basics of Wet & Dry Processing
    • Join us to experience a demonstration and explanation of common wet & dry seed processing techniques. We’ll share a demonstration and give folks an opportunity to get some hands-on practice.

There will be a table with seeds and screens where you can try your hand at seed harvesting–and take home some freshly harvested seed!

seeds on a swap table

You can also ask questions and learn from these great nonprofits that will be tabling: The Garden Hotline, Master Composters/Sustainability Stewards, Seattle Tree Fruit Society, Sustainable Ballard, Rainwise, Seattle, Sustainable NE Seattle and City Fruit.

And if you’d like to bring seeds (not required), make sure they’re labeled with the variety name and date, bring only seeds that are not too old to plant (2021 or later). You can even bring cuttings or divisions of edible plants if you’d like.

The event is shaping up to be the best one in our 10-plus years. Join us there!

Follow our Facebook event for updates, and let us know you’re coming!

Get Ready to Swap Seeds and Discover Great New Crops

Saturday, February 24, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

It’s time to start getting ready for the gardening season and that means… seeds!

Join the King County Seed Lending Library and new partner Tilth Alliance for the Great Seattle Seed Swap, a fun, family friendly community event at the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA). Learn more about seeds and seed saving throughout the day with educational presentations and family-friendly hands-on activities!

Follow our Facebook event for updates, and let us know you’re coming!

From greens to roots to legumes to brassicas, the Great Seattle Seed Swap always has lots of vegetable varieties to try. Looking for something new or unusual for your garden this year? These seed swap tables will have all kinds of seeds for your edible, medicinal and floral gardens. We welcome you to add your labeled extra seeds to the mix and take lots home, too.

What is a community seed swap? A family-friendly gathering for gardeners of all experience levels to share seeds, gardening resources and connect with each other. Bring your garden-saved seeds, excess seeds you have from opened packets or just yourself if you’re just getting started. We’ll have some seeds to share, too.

Some fantastic greening organizations and community partners will join us with tables of their own. Get your gardening questions answered, learn about growing fruit in your yard, and find out how to borrow tools from a community tool library.

These great groups will be on hand:

  • The Garden Hotline
  • Master Composter and Sustainability Stewards
  • Seattle Tree Fruit Society
  • Sustainable Ballard/Rainwise
  • Sustainable NE Seattle and
  • The Phinney Tool Lending Library
  • City Fruit
  • …and more

Guidelines for bringing seeds to share:

  • Please make sure seeds are labeled with crop and variety name and date.
  • Please only bring seeds that are not too old to plant (2021 or later is a good guideline).
  • Feel free to bring cuttings or divisions from garden plants, too.

You don’t have to bring seeds to enjoy this event – we’ll have plenty to share. See you there!

The seed swap will be held in the PNA’s Community Hall of the Brick Building (use lower parking lot).

PBS: Svalbard Seed Vault More Vital, Imperiled by Climate Change

Inside the Arctic Circle, set into the permafrost, the Global Seed Vault protects the future of the planet’s food crops. This initiative in Svalbard, Norway has been collecting the world’s seeds since 1984 and is the world’s most essential seed bank.

But today, even as the practice of saving our diminishing plant diversity is more important than ever, it is also more imperiled. Climate change is, of course, the cause.

The bay beyond the seed vault portal is now ice-free in the winter due to climate change. Photo: Crop Trust under Creative Commons license

The PBS Newshour took a look at the vault and its challenges and it is fascinating, sobering viewing. Watch the segment.