Time for Another Seed Exchange (and mice suck!)

It’s the time of year, again, when a gardener’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of seed. Countless catalogs arrive daily with fruit, veggie and herb seeds aplenty, in every colour, shape, size and disposition imaginable. Wonder at the beets that looks like bulls-eyes inside, marvel at the bright purple carrots, and be amazed at sunflowers so large you wonder if they might whisper “Feed me, Seymour!” each night.

As always, leafing through these catalogs for the perfectly hearty, delicious, and ethical variety leaves me feeling breathless and lusty. Yes, friends, there’s seed porn in the house again, much to my wife’s chagrin. These are lofty and inspirational times, without a doubt. There’s plans to be drawn, seeds to be started in the next few weeks, and garden beds to be prepared. It’s all so exciting.

20120313-184227.jpgAlas, my collection of seeds from the last few years was discovered, a couple weeks ago, by a hoard of hungry mice. They ripped all the packets to shreds and ate the big seeds, while pooping and peeing all over the rest. The carnage was pretty nasty, and I had to dispose of the seeds that survived the feeding frenzy. It’s disheartening to be without seeds at the start of a garden season and with the recent addition to our family, there’s no way I could afford to replace all those wonderful seeds.

To address this, I’m going to be opening up my home (and yard) again this year for a seed swap in a couple weeks, inviting my friends and acquaintances (and their friends and acquaintances) to come over, bring their spare veggie seeds and share in a little coffee, tea and garden-nerd conversation. Even if you’ve never gardened before and don’t have your own seeds, come anyway and get inspired. I hope you’ll be willing to put your left-over 2012 seeds up for trading and that lots of others do the same.

This isn’t meant to be a particularly formal event, but I’d like to suggest a few guidelines in case you’ve not been part of a seed swap before:

  • Please provide your own baggies or envelopes to manage/track the seeds you receive.
  • If a particular kind of seed failed miserably for you, please be honest; don’t pawn off your seeds because they sucked… instead, share the awesomeness. (An extension to this guideline is: please don’t bring really old seeds; most seeds lose their viability after a couple of years. If you’re not sure if they’re still good, don’t bring them.)
  • Bring a notepad. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to learn from others insights. (Who *knew* that epsom salts can help make tomatoes AWESOME?)
  • If you’re a first-time veggie gardener and don’t have seeds to trade with, consider baking some cookies, or bring some of your canned goods or whatever else you have that might be of interest. I’m sure you’ll walk away with some seeds and some great advice on how to get started.

If you’re interesting in joining us, please RSVP on the Facebook Event so that I know how many people to plan for. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/513246398715696/