Share Seeds, Plan Your Garden at the Seed Swaps

more shoppers 2017 swap

There will be plenty of beans and brassicas at the upcoming Seed Swap in Northwest Seattle. The King County Seed Lending Library also has seeds for salad greens and herbs and over 30 other vegetables.

But perhaps the most interesting edibles will be what’s not yet there. Gardeners seem to jump on the seeds brought in by their fellow seed-savers – so be sure to bring yours!

The KCSLL’s annual seed exchange for Northwest Seattle is coming Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Phinney Center. The Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange is also set for Feb. 2 in Duvall, and swaps are planned for Northeast Seattle on Feb. 9 and West Seattle on Feb. 24. Details.

Learn while sharing seeds

At the Northwest Seattle swap, Tilth Alliance, P-Patch, Sustainable Ballard, Seattle Tree Fruit Society and the PNA Tool Lending Library will all have folks and information there. Short workshops will talk about seed saving and seed starting.

Attendees are urged to bring seeds to share, but it is not required. The swaps are free and open to all.

How to participate:

  • Share only seeds of edible plants that your fellow gardeners would grow from seed, such as annual vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.
  • If donating packaged seed, it should be organic or open-pollinated, plant types that will produce seed true to the stated variety. Heirlooms are by definition open-pollinated.
  • If donating home-saved seed, please winnow and clean it off the stems or stalks as much as possible and bring only the seed.
  • If you can’t clean it in advance, plan to spend some time cleaning it the swap. Some swaps will have screens and buckets available.
  • All shared seed should be fresh, within three years of purchase or saving.
  • Label all seed donations with seed type, variety if known, and year it was grown/saved.
  • Bring envelopes and a pen to store and label your new seeds.

About the KCSLL

The King County Seed Lending Library (www.kingcoseed.org) operates four branches around Seattle and one in the Snoqualmie Valley. Each take seed donations and offer small quantities of seeds year round to local gardeners.

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