I’ve seen little stories advertising a local “seed exchange” for years in the paper, but I’ve always been too intimidated to show up without seeds, without the proper gardening knowledge, and without great success under my belt.
This year, the seed exchange partnered up with the local FFA at the high school and suddenly it seemed much more accessible. My girls were part of FFA in the past, I’d go and support the program and maybe check out the seeds.
While they’ve said you don’t have to bring any seeds, I’ve always felt guilty about not contributing. I showed up late, missed out on the classes on germination and garden planning but snuck in on the tail end of the seed exchange.
I picked up some garlic and some giant sunflower seeds before running into a local farmer who gave me some giant pumpkin seeds that I just had to grow—his words, not mine. He’d cross-pollinated his giant pumpkin with a gourd and after a few years of this wound up with giant, striped pumpkins. Who wouldn’t want those? We have plenty of room to let extravagant vines trail down the slope below the garden.
I’ll just have to watch out for critters. He figured my problems last year was squirrels. Maybe when I plant the garlic it’ll help keep them away.
As I was leaving the seed area, a lady captured my attention with her selection of beet seeds. Apparently names like tall tops are a sign that these are great if your interested in eating the greens rather than just the roots. I had never keyed in on that. We both talked about the woes of trying to grow striped beets that just looked anemic at best and failed to come through that true beet flavor.
I don’t remember what kind I settled on, but I came home with a pinch of seeds.
One problem with arriving late was the lack of bags or envelopes. The organizers had set out plastic bags, but only one was left when I started my rounds. I just made sure I had widely-varied types of seeds so I could tell them apart.
Unfortunately, I left them in the car for a few days, and then they set on the counter for awhile since it’s not really planting time. The sunflowers were getting a little moldy from hanging out with the garlic by the time I divvied them up. That probably caused them some trouble, and it didn’t do my tablecloth any favors either.
I cut up some scratch paper and fashioned some envelopes till planting time.
Next time, I’ll try to arrive early, bring my own envelopes, and maybe check out the classes. I did bring home a pot of beautiful daffodils to give to the hostess at the dinner party we attended that night. And I’m excited to see how those giant pumpkins turn out.
Are you members of a local gardening club? Have you ever saved seeds or attended an exchange?