Here are some Tips and information on how to start Seed Sharing.
What is Seeding Sharing?
Seed sharing is a very old tradition of sharing saved seeds from your garden/harvest with family, friends and community. Originally done out of necessity in more recent times, it has been reborn as a way to enrich your access to new plant varieties, connect with your community, along with helping to preserve Heirloom and Heritage plant varieties.
How much does it cost?
It’s Usually free, within the community of seed sharing money is not seen a currency, seeds are. Most people do not ask for money (they might ask you to cover postage costs if mailing. “People who seed share feel that they are sharing seeds as a gift to the wider community and humanity.”
How do I start Seed Sharing?
Sharing seeds is a pretty easy process. Collect some seeds from your garden at the end of a harvest and share them with people who want to grow what you’re sharing.
Who do I share my Seeds with?
Seed sharing can be extended beyond just sharing with friends and family. Many seed sharers are now turning to online forums like Seedsavers and facebook to share their seeds with a wider community.
If you’re not on Facebook, other community-based Groups like SeedSavers in Australia, Swap seeds in the UK and in the US groups like Seed Save or Seed Librarian also hold get together or have seed swapping stations for you to swap seed from. (Please NOTE that some states and councils have made seed swapping/sharing illegal, please check the laws of your state).
However, do not overlook your local community. You could start with your local Gardening group, organic co-op, community garden for seed sharers or if you get enough interest you could even start your own group.
The Etiquette of Seed Sharing:
Only share proven seeds, in other words, do not share seeds that are old or you know aren’t going to sprout. If you are sharing seeds you have purchased, it’s expected that you share the company you purchased from and then it’s up to the receiver accept the seeds or not.
Share with an open heart and good will. Be an honest and trustworthy.
If you receive then try to give back, this might not be this season, but please try to share something. Even common varieties of plants are sort after by people new to Gardening etc.
If your receiving seeds, only take what you need. Share the seeds people, share the seeds!
Most seed sharing groups require that you share your seeds for free, It’s about sharing seeds, helping other Gardeners and in some cases preserving heritage or heirloom seeds for our next generation.
Asking for postage to cover postage costs is acceptable but honestly, if it’s just one seed packet and you can afford it……share the love.
Make sure you label your seeds, with their common name(botanical name if you know it) and what date you collected them (month and year are fine) If you are able and a little summary of yields and info about when to plant is also very helpful. You can print cute little seed packets like this “Grow what you love – seed packets” or this one from Country living for free.
I want to Seed Share but I don’t think I have anything to offer:
Wrong, unless your garden is a barren piece of earth you have something to offer, even if it’s a common variety of plant someone may want it so don’t be afraid to start collecting and sharing your seeds.
Tomatoes, common herbs & flowers etc are all popular at seed swaps.
You are not expected to swap the same amount of seeds as you receive, you could take the seeds gifted by one gardener and then help someone else out with the seeds you have
Can I swap seeds I have purchased?
Yes, but please let the people you are sharing with know that they are purchased seed, and as yet not tested by you. If you want to try some new seeds and share them with others here is a list of some of the well-known seed companies by country.
Eden Seeds, – Sells seeds that are old traditional, open pollinated, non-hybrid, heirloom varieties and have no chemical treatment, and no genetic engineering. Mail order Catalogue and online
Diggers, is a well know and loved Australian Seed company with an amazing heirloom and organic seed range along with starter plants, Mail order and online
Australian Gardener (Heirloomseeds) sells a nice variety of unusual and common heirloom seeds via their online site.
The Lost Seed Sells a large variety of Australian and International heirloom seeds.
Green harvest Sell Organic seeds via their online store.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – an amazing company selling thousands of heirloom seed varieties, you can also visit their farm.
Clear Creek Seeds – Selling open pollinated, traditional heirloom varieties of Vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Jonny’s Seeds – sells a large variety of heirloom seeds
Territorial Seeds A large family company that sells every kind of seed and starter you can imagine, has a large range of Heirloom and Organic seed.
Heritage Harvest – One of Canada’s leading Rare and Heritage seed distributors with over 700 varieties of seeds available.
The Cottage Gardener – Another amazing supplier of Heritage and rare seeds in Canada.
Cubit Seed Co – This family owned and run Seed company has a large range of high quality heirloom and heritage seeds forsale.
Hawthorn Farm Organic Seeds – Another family owned direct supplier of organic and heirloom seeds.
Due to the crazy restrictive laws governing seed and vegetable registration in Europe, its even more important that our UK and European friends collect and store their own heritage seeds. Please read all about it here at REAL SEEDS
So as you can see not only is it important for our future to collect and preserve seed varieties but as we see in the Europe it may in the future become vital for food integrity and security.
Seed sharing is a fun, interesting and vital gift we can give our future Gardeners, Why not start sharing some seeds today.