Tag Archives: seed swap

06: Seed Swap Goodies

It’s time to think about the growing season!  Last summer, I revisited something from my childhood on the farm – growing my own food. I dutifully invested in pots (all container gardening for me), dirt and seeds and had a grand time experimenting, grazing from my garden and eating ALL of the basil.  (I loved the basil so much I rigged up a grow light inside to enjoy it all winter too!)

Looking forward to this year, I have extra seeds from last year, and want to try new things. I couldn’t justify wasting the left over seeds from last year, and I didn’t really want spend a ton on new seeds… so time to swap!

So many seeds!
So many seeds!

I should throw in a disclaimer here – I’ve never been to a seed party, so I was flying blind.  I had no idea how much time the actual swapping would take, and no idea the amount of seeds other people would bring.  I also purposely planned the party early in the winter to share seeds people had experience with from the year before, and so that people would still have time to buy seeds if they weren’t able to procure them at the swap.

My party plan:

1. Invite all awesome people who have gardening aspirations

2. Make awesome jalapeno popper dip  I pinned, so if the party flopped, mouths would be too full to complain.

3. Assemble seed envelopes

4. Swap seeds!

5. Hand out planting worksheets with frost date and planting times (frost dates determined by the Farmer’s Almanac, and worksheets from Martha Stewart)

6. Make newspaper origami seed pots

7. Hand out my laser cut party favors (I’m sure you were wondering how this fit in to 52 Lasers by now! )

 Laser cut projects for the seed swap:

Seed Packets:

Cut and ready to go!  The plastic baggies were there for back up, which was a good thing - I only figured about 10 envelopes per person.  Definitely needed more!
Cut and ready to go! The plastic baggies were there for back up, which was a good thing – I only figured about 10 envelopes per person. Definitely needed more!

With so many seeds, we needed a way to bag them, so we designed miniature seed envelopes. In looking at the original packets the seeds came in, I distilled the information to the basics: name of the seeds, where to plant them, and how to plant them.  I left the backside empty for notes.  The size of the finished packets is small – 1.75 x 2 inches –  I really wanted to fit 6 to a page.Seed Envelopes Pattern

This project is admittedly overkill for the laser, you can easily cut them out with scissors (and I encourage you to do so – print your own with the Seed Envelopes Free PrintableJust glue them together with a glue stick, or tape them if in a hurry.)  We scored the fold lines, too, and it was almost  a bit too much.  They folded beautifully, but with the bigger seeds I worried about the seams splitting.

Seed Spacers:

At a glance, my basil are 7" apart.
At a glance, my basil are 7″ apart.

This was super easy, design-wise – 1 inch wide, 13 inches long, and holes every inch.  Makes placing the seeds up to one foot apart a breeze!  I made it out of scrap wood and the spaces are big enough to fit a pencil to make a hole or accommodate larger seeds.

Dibber:

Nicely 1/2" in the ground!
Nicely 1/2″ in the ground!

Make poking holes to the right depth easy!  We marked common planting depths on a piece of wood that will fit in the seed spacer above.   My dibber is quite blunt, so it is really only useful in loose, fluffy soils.  Something to think about, design-wise, for the future.

(They were such a hit, I did decide to list the Seed Spacer and Dibber Set in my Etsy supply shop, Beadeux!)

Party Observations (or things I learned for next time)

The Jalapeno dip was a huge success, as was the party itself.  We had a very small, but friendly group.  I have so many amazing seeds now,   including Glass Gem Corn – thanks Jim! The actual swap was pretty time consuming, and we didn’t even get to numbers 5 and 6 on the list (garden planning and seed starter pots).  Since we were able to fit around a table, we found it was best if we just picked a category of seeds to pull out and swap – like all tomatoes, then all legumes, or tubers.  It was so much fun to dig through other people’s seed stashes!  And the best part?  “Let’s do this again next year!”

PS – Patty, one of my party guests, introduced me to winter sowing (yes, winter!)  I think I’m going to try a few mini greenhouses.  Has anyone reading this tried it?

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