On a brisk December day with flurries in the air, we gathered together at the Hampshire…
We had a wonderful 4th annual Seed Swap! Thanks to everyone who came and to all of our wonderful co-sponsors, volunteers, presenters, and business sponsors who made the event possible.
This year, we had Daniel Botkin present on Basic Seed Saving, Liz Charlebois present on Indigenous Seed Keeping, and Tevis Robertson-Goldberg present on Plant Breeding. All of the workshops provided lots of information about seeds and tools for participants to practice seed saving, keeping, or breeding in the future.
We had a very busy day! We received donations from Hudson Valley Seed Company, Seed Savers Exchange, and High Mowing Seeds. Along with the donated seeds, many participants brought their own saved seeds or extra seeds that they had. All of the tables overflowed with so many different varieties of each vegetable and we had our highest number of attendees yet.
While the Seed Swap was occurring, we also offered a seed paper-making workshop. Kids and adults were able to make homemade recycled paper and add flower seeds to it. They were then able to take home their paper and plant it this spring.
Every year, the Seed Swap happens in collaboration with The Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market. That way, participants can shop at the farmers market after the Seed Swap or farmers markets attendees are able to get their seeds for their garden by stopping by the swap.
Nuestras Raices and the Hilltown Seed Savers Network also co-sponsored the event. Nuestras Raices connected us with Liz Charlebois and the Hilltown Seed Savers Network connected us to a greater community by reaching the Hilltowns.
The Seed Swap serves as a wonderful way for community members to get their seeds for their garden. It increases people’s abilities to grow their own food and creates a space to build community and exchange knowledge, ideas, and passion for the local food system.
We surveyed participants in March and found that some highlights were: the great variety of seeds, having access to unusual seeds, community involvement, and having a kids’ activity.
“Loved all the people, the seeds that people saved and brought, and the space”
We were also able to provide seeds to community members, receive seeds to give to our low-income community gardeners, and to donate to Puerto Rico through Pulegium Consulting.
We are very grateful to our business sponsors. Leading sponsors: Bear Path Compost, Amherst Nurseries, and River Valley Coop and to our supporting sponsor: Easthampton Savings Bank. We are looking forward to planting our seeds from the seed swap and to seeing you all next year!