Photo: Shuswap Seed Swap
Yes, today, January 25, 2020, is Seed Swap Day … and I just found out about it! You’d think someone would have told me (and perhaps someone did, but I failed to notice) so I could share the news with my readers. Well, as they say, it’s never too late to do the right thing, so I’m announcing it today.
The idea with Seed Swap Day is to take your surplus seeds and share them with other gardeners who also have surpluses. They could be seeds you bought, but where there were more seeds in the pack than you needed or seeds you harvested yourself of true-to-type (non-hybrid) seed varieties. They could be flower seeds or vegetable seeds.
Of course, the seeds have to be viable (most seeds stored under reasonable conditions are “good” for at least 3 years, some many more) and you have to know what they are (there are only so many “mystery seeds” most gardeners will want to deal with!) Also, you’d obviously want to note the name of the seed and details about it on an envelope.
But don’t we all have surplus seeds we could be sharing?
Seed Swap Day 2020
This article is coming at the very last moment: sorry about that! So, this year, you’d have to call up a few gardening friends to get things started.
But maybe your garden club might like to organize something like this next year? Or your community garden?
Or maybe there is already a seed swap organized in your area?
In the Washington, DC area, for example, there is a big one every year: the Washington Gardener Seed Exchange, held in 2020 on Saturday, January 25, from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m. at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. They even have a program with speakers!
You can check on many of the seed swaps at the Seed Swap Day web site which offers a listing that is updated yearly. If you have a seed swap you want to announce, this is the place to go.
And there is also the Community Seed Network, set up to help facilitate the saving and sharing of seed, where you could “meet up” with others interested in sharing seeds. This could be the day you look into that.
The first Seed Swap Day was organized by my friend and fellow garden communicator, Kathy Jentz, editor of Washington Gardener Magazine, on January 26, 2006, and it was so successful it has been repeated yearly. Soon Kathy had the day officially recognized as the National Seed Swap Day.
So, get out and do some seed exchanging today, put Seed Swap Day on your calendar app so it repeats yearly … and make sure to include a plan for a real seed swap day on your agenda for next year!