The Big Seed Swap Comes to Riverhead

The Long Island Regional Seed Consortium is hosting a Seed Swap next weekend.
The Long Island Regional Seed Consortium is hosting a Seed Swap next weekend.

If you’re a gardener, you’ve probably often wondered what to do with all the extra seeds hanging around your house.

Perhaps the seed packages were bigger than you thought they’d be. Or you didn’t give any thought to the size of your yard while you were daydreaming about what you could plant there when it wasn’t covered with snow.

Or, last year, you collected the seeds from the open-pollinated plants in your garden and now have more seeds than you had dreamed imaginable.

The good news is, there’s a way to keep those seeds from going to waste.

The Long Island Regional Seed Consortium is hosting a seed swap tomorrow, Sat., Feb. 7 in the Shinnecock Science Building of the Riverhead Campus of Suffolk County Community College.

A basic seed-saving class will be held at 1:30 p.m., followed by the seed swap from 2 to 4 p.m.

Below are some general ideas and guidelines about seed swaps, according to the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium:

Imagine it as an old fashioned Facebook for seeds. Usually, one walks out with way more seeds than one came in with, but seed swaps are just that, swaps. Taking more than you can use in a year, more than you need, or taking entire jars of seeds is just bad news – don’t be “that person”!

It’s a good idea to bring open-pollinated seeds, which are seeds from non-hybrid plants. Hybrid plants produce seeds whose fruits will not likely be much like the plant they came from. Most plants that you can collect seeds from will have been designated as open-pollinated or heirloom when you planted the original seeds.

If you don’t have a lot of seeds to swap, that’s ok. Going to a seed swap is a good way to meet like-minded people and get ideas for what seeds you’d like to bring next year.

Bring the seeds you have in clearly labeled bags or jars with the proper name and any information on the seed, a writing instrument and small envelopes to put the seeds in. Bulbs and tubers can also be brought to a seed swap.

Seed swaps serve so many purposes; not only are they fun, they are a way to meet other gardeners, farmers and seed savers, brush up on new techniques, ask questions, and of course GET NEW SEEDS for your collection. It’s also a great way to break up the winter blues that afflict people who love working with the dirt.

You’re not, however, allowed to bring invasive plant seeds, hybrid F1’s, old seed that won’t germinate, your mean neighbor and pirates.

For more information, visit www.lirsc.org.

 



Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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