Thursday, March 3, 2011

Seed Lending & Swapping. One way urban gardeners can benifit from living in a densely populated area.

I've been hearing news of seed swaps and seed lending library all across the country. This is such an amazing tool for the urban gardener I would love to see more people taking advantage of this resource. If you don't already have a program like this in your city then start one! It really doesn't have to be complicated.

Here, in Berkeley, we have BASIL (Bay Area Seed Interchange Library). Year round, BASIL is basically just a station set up in side the Ecology Center that anyone can go to and dig through pouches, and jars, and satchels of seeds. All the seeds here are ones locals have collected from their own plants in their back yard or wild foraged then given to the seed library for others to take freely. The idea is that you will come collect seeds "checking them out" then grow the plants at home and collect more seeds to bring back to the library "checking back in" for others to collect and grow.
Once a year BASIL has a Seed Swap, Potluck & of my favorite events of the year (put a potluck in any event and I'm instantly in love). At this event I suspect is intended to get a large donation of seeds to stock for the spring growing season. Tons of people from Berkeley and the surrounding cities get together, bring all the seeds they have collected in the past year, cook up some AMAZING food to share, and there is usually live music and a little bit of dancing here and there. I look forward to it every year.

This years Seed Swap is TOMORROW, and I couldn't be more excited. If you are in the Bay Area and want to join in on the fun, stop by. Make sure to say HI if you see me stuffing my face around the potluck table :)

12th Annual Bay Area Seed Swap | Berkeley

Friday March 4th 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm | Cost: FREE*
Ecology Center | 2530 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA
Learn about seed saving classes and the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library, while enjoying a potluck supper, hoe down music, home-grown garden seeds, and the company of local gardeners. Free event if you bring food & seeds to share or a $10 donation is requested
The Bay Area Seed Interchange Library (BASIL) Project is part of a growing network of concerned farmers and community gardeners dedicated to conserving the remaining genetic diversity of our planet’s seed stock. They have created a library of healthy vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that are being made available free to the public.

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