A couple of weekends ago my friend, Carolyn, and I hosted a Spring Seed Exchange. After a long winter, we were craving familiar faces, new friends, and fresh air. I was skimming through the Magnolia magazine and came across an article on how to host a Community Seed Swap. I loved the article and thought what better way to host a gathering for people who love growing flowers, fresh herbs and veggies just as much as I do. A Spring Seed Exchange is a great way to begin your garden whether you’re planting a big garden in your yard, a couple of small pots on your porch, or growing a few herbs in your kitchen windowsill. This event is for everyone – the experienced gardener, newbies and even for those who think they don’t have a green thumb. If I can garden, anyone can! It’s only my third summer gardening, and I’m still learning so much. Here’s how you can host your own Seed Exchange.
How To Host A Spring Seed Exchange
- Find A Location
Normally I would invite everyone to my house, but since this event consisted of gardening soil I thought it would be best to have it at another location. My husband, Lance, is in the fire department, so I asked him if we could host our event there. The fire department was an ideal location. Not only was the space great, we could utilize their tables, chairs, and kitchen (for water). Other locations you can look into is a community center, local greenhouse or even your backyard is a great option.
- Spread The Word
The best way Carolyn and I thought we could spread the word was to create a Facebook event. We included a couple photos, added a description, invited our friends (who we told to invite their friends) and soon our event was growing interest. In my opinion social media is the best way to send our your invites, but if you want to host this as a community event, you could create flyers to put up at your local shops and greenhouse in your area.
- Gather Supplies
The only supplies people needed to bring was a packet of seeds. If they have planted seeds before chances are they probably have some leftover. Carolyn and I provided potting soil, biodegradable pods, trowels, popsicle sticks, markers, baggies for leftover seeds, and watering cans.
Seed Packets People Brought:
– Brussel Sprouts
– Poppies (These flowers are so pretty!)
– Bell Peppers
– Green Beans
Tip: There are certain seeds you should plant directly in the ground, and other seeds that you can start indoors. Here’s a good reference. Also, seeds kept in the freezer or refrigerator can last several years, while seeds left out won’t last as long.
- Set Up
We laid out all of the seed packets that everyone brought along with popsicle sticks and colored markers on a table on one side of the room. In the middle of the room Carolyn and I placed a couple of tables which we laid plastic table cloths on top (making clean up SO much easier!) Then we gathered chairs to place around the tables to create an environment for mingling (we all told a lot of gardening stories – great for getting tips of what worked and what didn’t!) In the middle of the table we placed a large plastic tub filled with moist potting soil and a couple of trowels for people to dig the dirt out into their pods. There were biodegradable pods at each place setting and a few spray bottles scattered along the table for misting your soil (after planting your seeds).
When everyone arrived we started off chatting and eating. Then some of us gathered around the table to start putting soil in our containers and some went to the other table to pick out seeds and make popsicle sticks first.
- Food (Plus a great tip!)
Carolyn and I made Strawberry Basil Lemonade (my new favorite drink), blueberry muffins, fruit kabobs with honey ginger yogurt fruit dip, and pesto antipasto skewers. Tip – We had asked everyone that came to bring along a recipe corresponding to their herb or veggie seed packet they brought. This was a way to utilize the veggies and herbs you grow. Some yummy recipes people brought were Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette, Warm Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Salad, Stuffed Bell Peppers.
The event was a time to kick off spring, share seeds and recipes, create a sense of community, meet new friends, be creative and have fun. It was the perfect way to jump into a new season and to share the excitement for what’s to come. Stay tuned for my blog post on the progress of my seeds. Plus all the tips and tricks I’ve been learning along the way that I can’t wait to share with you!