Saturday, January 25, 2014

Seedstock, seed catalogs and seed swaps

It may not be spring yet (even though the pussy willows are a bit confused), but the warm weather and the seed catalogs in the mail remind us that spring is coming soon! This year, the Growing Ester's Biodiversity program is hosting a new event at the John Trigg Ester Library: the Library Seedstock.

Seedstock is a special event to stock the seed library with locally grown, heirloom and open-pollinated cultivars. We are looking for flowers, vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Anyone may donate seeds, but seed stewards check out seed from the JTEL to grow it out to raise and save seed again, and are members of the library. After the harvest, seed stewards bring back about ten to twenty times the amount of seed they checked out from the plants they've grown, thereby replenishing and growing the library's holdings, and sharing those seeds with other members of the library.

That close relationship between you, the library's stewards of its genetic material, and your fellow members, is one that builds community and preserves valuable and increasingly rare  agrobiodiversity. To become a seed steward, simply sign up for membership at Seedstock and fill out a form indicating which seeds you've checked out, just like you would a book. Membership is only $10 per year, and not only do you join a committed group of enthusiastic gardeners, you can also check out anything else in the library!

This year will be the first Seedstock, but will be the third year the JTEL has held Seedy Saturdays.

Seedy Saturdays are straightforward seed swaps: bring seeds, share them with your neighbors. We'll provide some containers and envelopes, pens, and a way to organize the plants (by botanical family, with signs). Please see our seedswap guidelines on our website.

All events are free, but we do incur some costs, so donations are encouraged, and gratefully accepted.

Come join us!

John Trigg Ester Library
Clausen Cabin, 3629 Main Street, Ester (across from the Golden Eagle Saloon)
February 2, Sunday, noon to 3 pm

Seedy Saturday #1
Hartung Hall, Main Street & Ester Loop (one block east of the Golden Eagle's parking lot)
February 15, Saturday, noon to 3 pm

Seedy Saturday #2
Hartung Hall, Main Street & Ester Loop
February 22, Saturday, noon to 3 pm

Seedy Saturday #3
Hartung Hall, Main Street & Ester Loop
March 1, Saturday, noon to 3 pm

Parking for all events is available nearby with special permission for the event from Alaska Visit, as well as a limited amount at Hartung Hall and the Clausen Cabin. We'll have ushers to help you find a spot.