We at Weeds like to mix it up when it comes to getting our seeds. We purchase them from our local garden centre, have more than a fondness for a ebay “vegetable seed job lot” (if it says “rare” or “unusual” then all the better) and do we love a seed swap. What’s nicer than passing on something you got a few of and exchanging them for something else.
Organised seed swaps are fun events to attend, you’ll meet like-minded people (great for exchanging gardening tips and information) and you’ll probably bag yourself something that you’ve never thought of growing before or some heirloom/heritage varieties you rarely come across.
One of our favourite seed swaps was in a pub in Hither Green on a Sunday night; a small crowd of gardening enthusiasts gathered to drink, chat horticulture and flick through boxes of interesting looking seed packets (some customised and hand-decorated, much more interesting than your average pack). That’s how a Sunday evening should be spent rather than having to put up with the likes of Highway and Antiques Road Show.
We never like to go to one empty handed and try to bring things as interesting as possible, these have included: chitted seed spuds, Egyptian walking onion sets and a couple of packs of night scented stock as we’re always trying to turn people onto growing those.
Once at a seed swap we saw a girl (dressed in a steam-punk style) pull out of her pocket a list of “what she had” consisting of 2 double-sided typed A4 sheets. Her black gothic style rucksack (with metal bits and all sorts) was filled with tons of numbered “dealer bags” full of seeds which came complete with home made labels and even sowing instructions. That’s a bit over the top for us here but that’s how passionate people are!
Sort of related are the annual potato day/seed fairs arranged by Pennards plants that combine a seed potato sale, heirloom/heritage seeds and sometimes have a seed swap section. Have a look at www.potato-days.net for your local one.
So save your own seeds this year (there’s lots of sites online that’ll give you pointers on how to do it) or see what you may have left over in your seed tin and next year have a look on google/facebook/twitter for a seed swap near you and go down and participate and see what you can bring home! Why not make a weekend of it and go to the big annual Seedy Sunday in Brighton (Sunday February 3rd 2019). Also have a look online as there’s numerous sites that encourage the art of seed swapping without even leaving your own home. Good luck! #onaseedswaptip