Seeds for Swapping
Looking forward to our next Seed Swap, we have absolutely no seeds to start off with as we sent them out at the start of lockdown to help people who couldn't get seeds. Because of the seed shortages this year we know seed companies will not be able to donate seeds as they have in the past.
So we would simply LOVE you wonderful people to save seeds.
If you have never done it before, the very easiest seeds to save are French beans, tomatoes, peas, wildflowers and lettuce. There is great info on the Real Seed company website, on Youtube and several good books on the subject.
If you have already got into saving seeds, how about getting more adventurous and try trickier crops, those that need some simple isolation from similar varieties by caging or bagging up flowers - squashes, cucumbers, courgettes, pumpkins, chilies and peppers for instance.
Please shell beans and peas, remove seeds from seed heads and clean and dry them before packing.
We are happy to have excess seeds you bought or that came free on magazines etc.
Seeds that are a year or two out of date are fine if they have been stored in a cool dry place. If they are older than that, we may take them, but will put them on our 'Forage' table - where you can take your chances but we don't vouch for the seeds being reliable.
Labelling is also important, the seeds that get left behind at the end of the Swap are the ones with no variety names, or missing information on how they were saved. Once you get into finding out about seeds you realise there are things you need to know about seeds saving - how to avoid accidental crosses between varieties, how to keep strains strong and how to look after seeds well. This makes people wary of packets with vague labels.
What not to donate
Please do not be tempted to bring along seeds taken from fruit or veg you have bought.
It is quite likely to be an F1 Hybrid variety, (even if it is organic). These are productive plants, that are bred to be good for commercial production, mass harvesting and transportation - but whatever their good qualities, they do not breed true to type. Plants grown from their seeds will be an odd and varied bunch, some good, some a waste of space. We want predictable seeds, so no-one wastes time and space, we would hate anyone to be put off growing by bad results.
Even if you know the variety, and it is a heritage or open pollinated one, there is a good chance that it will have crossed with other varieties grown in the area.