Saturday, December 27, 2008
Monica's Seed Exchange
I winter sowed my first flat today, with Cypress vine (Ipomoea quamoclit), kiss me over the garden gate Polygonum orientale, Sea holly (Eryngium giganteum 'Miss Willmott's Ghost'), and larkspur (Delphinium elatum 'Magic Fountain Cherry Blossom'). I didn't have other containers ready, or I would have sown a lot more.
After planting in late afternoon, I spontaneously lit my bonfire, which was too windy to start on December 21. Doesn't the winter-sown flat, on a workbench on my deck, look nice against the bonfire happily burning in the background?
While winter sowing, I realized I have too many seeds. Mind you, that realization did not stop me from ordering 18 more seed packets today from Value Seeds, nosirreebob.
I bet a lot of you are in a similar situation: You simultaneously have too many seeds, yet you want more seeds, too. So I propose that we pass them along to each other! That way you can get rid of some of your extras, and pick up something new to try.
I'll host a round robin seed exchange. Here's how it works. Everyone emails me their postal address, and I'll divide people into small groups (yes, European friends can participate; I'll try to group you together to save on postage costs and time). I'll start the swap for each group by placing a dozen or more types of seeds, in little packets, into a padded envelope. I'll also make a numbered list of the other people in each group, and send the list, along with the seeds I'm offering for the swaps (did I mention I have some awesome heirloom tomato varieties from Ann Arbor tomato guru Royer Held?), to the first person on the list.
When the envelope arrives, that person runs gleefully from the mailbox into the house and takes out any seed packets they want, replacing them with the same number of seed packets for the next person. Then they send the packet on to the next person on the list, ideally within a few days, and so on until the last person sends it back to me. I'll then pick out my share of seeds and donate what's left over to a local community or school garden.
You can use any kinds of seeds (veggie, herb, native, showy, perennial, annual, biennial, woody, whatever), and enclose any amount of seeds per packet. (If you have a lot of seeds, perhaps you can divide them into multiple envelopes.) You replace seeds by the number of packets you took, not the number of actual seeds. (It's also OK, for example, to take 6 and replace 5, or to take 5 and replace 6. Use your own judgment.) You can use any kind of envelope or packet to hold your seeds, whether the original seed packet or one you made yourself. You need to label the seeds by name and color, plus anything else you find helpful. The photo shows examples of packets used in a previous swap, though there'll be a lot more of them in the actual envelope you receive.
I'll also enclose directions with the swap, plus you'll be able to see how others packaged their seeds by the time the packet reaches you.
I've participated in this type of round robin before, and it's a lot of fun!
To join, email your name and postal address to me at gardenfaerie02 at yahoo dot com (removing the spaces and replacing "at" with "@" and "dot" with ".") by Friday, January 9, 2009.
I know this deadline seems early, but it takes a while for the packages to make their rounds and I want to accommodate those who winter sow. If you're interested but don't have seeds yet, I could push out the deadline a few weeks. Let me know!
Happy new year! Monica