Jan 102011

Reposted from Lummi Island Living:

Lummi Island Seed Swap

Posted on January 10, 2011 by Wynne

Are you interested in a Lummi Island seed swap this year?   Ginny Winfield (master gardener and organizer last year of an island gardening group), Randy Smith and I all independently started thinking about this recently.

Ginny had already thought about doing an informal community seed swap as part of the Feb. 3, 2011 meeting of the garden group, at the Fire Hall (6:30 pm).  Randy posted an article on Transition Lummi Island, to which I responded with a comment (4th  down) about Canada’s recent “Seedy Saturday” tradition. I’ve swapped seeds and co-ordered with a few islander friends the past couple of years — it was really fun, informative about what varieties work and don’t and frugal, so a community “Seedy Saturday” or some such sounds interesting.)

Anyway, Ginny and I talked and decided to develop something, probably on Feb. 3.  Barb Pittman pitched in with a reference to Mother Earth News’ recent article about how to organize a community seed swap.

I’m not very good at real-world organization but don’t mind help starting up a Lummi Island seed swap. If anyone is interested in helping out, please contact Ginny or me.


  6 Responses to “Lummi Island Seed Swap”

  1. I don’t have anything to swap, but I remember standing in front of the seed rack at Mt. Baker Nursery last year trying to decide what to plant. That was a huge mistake, as I didn’t know the difference between any of umpteen varieties of tomatoes or beans that were being offered. Nor did I know which ones do better on an island in the San Jauns.
    I’d like to buy my seed from a ‘pro’, that’s been successful, knows the land, the climate, and whether or not the seeds can be harvested for next year.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mother Earth News. Mother Earth News said: Seed saving and swapping inspiration: http://transitionlummiisland.com/lummi-island-seed-swap […]

  3. I’d love to participate. I’ll check what we have; some of our seeds are likely too old to swap.

  4. Maybe we need a ‘take your chances’ category for the seed swap, clearly marked as such and saying “do a germination test 1st”. Nothing wrong with that. I had some 3+ year radish and lettuce seed I gave to a few interested people, saying I had no clue about viability. Later I found out (even got some radishes and lettuce in return) that the seeds had sprouted just fine. As long as everyone understands, let people try what they like.

  5. Since we’re thinking about seeds, I’m wondering if we could have a seed catalog library somewhere on the Island. I get occasional specialty catalogs that I hate to stick in the recycle bin from suppliers I’m not interested in but someone else on the island might like. Looking for that unusual potato, tomato or bean? Check the catalog library. Actually the catalog library should be more than just seeds — like having Lehman’s ‘big book’. Maybe I’m out-of-date, but I can more easily browse the full line of products in a print catalog as opposed to the on-line one.

  6. An online listing might be the way to go though for island seed inventory, along with every other champagne making skill and used copper mugs in a basement, in case someone needs to find which neighbors have a male kumquat tree, or the possibility of some anise root on hand for a sautéd bouillabaise goat-cheese rarebit.

    I prefer to maintain an up-to-date paper catalog library for idea browsing myself. The internet can be like navigating a hedge maze wearing horse blinders, or getting lost in the hall of mirrors.

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