I love seed catalogs. During the darkest, coldest nights of winter I will flip through the pages and order my seeds while imagining armful after armful of tasty vegetables. I’ll pull on a cap and a second pair of socks while thinking ahead to chopping and canning and sweating through the steam-filled kitchen.
When the packages arrive, I’ll lay them out and plan my planting. But I always order way more seeds than I can hope to use. I tend to use up my lettuces and greens. But my garden and my schedule just can’t make full use of the squash and beans and peas and cukes and ….
So this year I made a portable Seed Swap from some wood scraps I had in the shed.
I have so many opened packs of seeds. I tested germination on the oldest of the bunch. It’s amazing how long many seeds remain viable! I split out seeds using small colored envelopes, and purchased extra envelopes for anyone who might want to bring in their own unused seeds. I also purchased an inexpensive cashbox and bolted it to the tray. Donations aren’t necessary, but any money raised will go to our campus pantry, called the M.U.L.E. Community Cabinet.
I also put my zine-making skills to work, warping a scan from an old seed catalog and posting a few instructions for anyone who might stumble across the Seed Swap and wonder what’s up.
I’ll be moving the Seed Swap around campus for the next six weeks or so. I hope, by leaving at different spots across campus, that others will feel welcome to take what they like. Anyone like me holding more seeds than they can plant should swap for others. And anything left over around the end of April will be donated to our amazing community garden.
Watch for the #muhlenberg and #seedswap hashtags on Twitter over the next few weeks to find out where I’ve parked the Seed Swap. Spring is here! Let’s get planting, everybody!