Tuesday, February 14, 2012

local seed swap

This Saturday, local gardeners can come on out to Ester and trade locally-grown seeds. Growing Ester's Biodiversity, the John Trigg Ester Library's seed-sharing program, is hosting its first-ever seed swap between 3 and 5 pm at Hartung Hall. If you would like to participate, please come to the hall by 3 pm to set up; seed trading begins at 3:30 pm. (See guidelines for more information.)

No seeds? No problem! Come on by anyway! This is all about sharing information, seeds, and a good time! There will plenty of extras, so if you don't have any seeds yet, you will after this event!

Seed swaps are a time-honored way for gardeners and farmers to share the natural bounty of their local garden plants. The last Saturday in January is National Seed Swap Day (this year it was January 28), but Alaskans generally have to wait a little longer than the rest of the country to start thinking about planting! AWaytoGarden.com has a nice seed viability chart along with some useful links on seed storage. I've personally had very good luck with keeping my seed viable, although the germination rate does slowly go down over the years. Our cold, dry winters help to keep seed dormant and to stay fresh—although too cold and too dry can be a problem, too!

Seed Savers Exchange is offering a webinar series on seed saving and planning your garden for seed saving. These will be released each month:
  • January: Introduction to Seed Savers Exchange (available now on YouTube)
  • February: Using the Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook (now registering!)
  • March: Planning Your Garden for Seed Saving
  • April: Apple Grafting
  • May: Heirlooms, OPs [Open-Pollinated Plants] and F1s
  • June: Basic Seed Saving for Beginners
  • July: Corn Hand-Pollination
  • August: Squash Hand-Pollination
  • September: Tomato Seed Saving
  • October: Dry Seed Processing
  • November: Listing Seeds in the Yearbook
  • December: Seed Storage
The Organic Seed Alliance has several publications that you can download, including a handy seed saving guide.

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