Laura got Painted Lady heirloom runner beans, and Frank scored some seeds of Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato, an heirloom squash. If you want to grow heirlooms in your garden this year, look for seeds of these “plants with character” at the annual Great Seed Swaps, being held by the King County Seed Lending Library in January and February.
The first seed swap will be Saturday, Jan. 27 in Northwest Seattle. Three more swaps will be held Feb. 10: one in Northeast Seattle, one in South Seattle and the other in Duvall in the Snoqualmie Valley. A fifth swap will be in West Seattle on Feb. 25.
The swaps include seed sharing and education. 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.
Details of each event:
Saturday, Jan. 27, 1-4 p.m. — The Great Seed Swap – Northwest Seattle, Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., in the Community Hall of the Brick Building.
Saturday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange, Cedarcrest High School, 29000 NE 150th St., Duvall, http://snoqualmievalleyseedexchange.org
Saturday, Feb. 10, noon-4 p.m., Community Seed Exchange – South Seattle, Seattle Farm Co-op, 5133 South Director Street, Seattle, http://www.seattlefarmcoop.com/
Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., The Great Seed Swap -Northeast Seattle, Meadowbrook Community Center, NE 105th and 35th Ave/ NE, http://sustainableneseattle.ning.com/events/save-the-date-viii-annual-handson-a-community-skills-share-fair
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2-3:30 p.m., The Great Seed Swap – West Seattle, Seattle Public Library, West Seattle Branch, 2306 42nd Ave. SW, www.seattlefarmschool.com
About the KCSLL
The King County Seed Lending Library 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.