Re: Input needed for Cool Beans! #SeedSwaps


Pat
 

-How do you promote your seed swap?
We are located in a small, remote community. We promote our events through flyers, both around town on bulletin boards and at the library, on our facebook page, and on the community radio station.

- What type of venue do you host your swap in?
We generally hold our seed swaps in our library's community room, or in the case of our seed and seedling swap, on the patio behind the library. We also hold events where we make seed available in the walnut grove behind the library during Farmers Market.

- How has COVID changed your exchange? Any recommendations?
We have not done a community seed e"swap" durning Covid, what we have done is purchase seed for seed giveaways: we have a grab and go table weekly out at the Farmers Market. We make seed avaiable during our planting parties, held monthly. As soon as WIC comes back, we would like to have a box of seed there as providing seed to the seed bank was very popular. And of course now we have the seed catalog available during library hours. But our county has not opened up indoor programming as of yet.

- Would you continue with those changes after COVID restrictions are lifted? Why or why not?
Undecided. We have packaged up several thousand packets of seed and distibuted almost 6,000 since Covid began. We got the bulk of the prep work done before our library reopened to the public. Now that we're open we have far fewer hours to devote to seed packing as we have not welcomed back volunteers yet.

- How do you organize your seed swap?
Pre-Covid, we had different tables for different types of seed: Veggies, Flowers, Herbs, Misc. Some bulk seed from local folks in jars and baggies, but mostly commercial type packets with our little envelopes (each with a label so people could record type of seed, variety, where the seed was sourced from, year of harvest, name of gardener or seed company, and "notes"). People would drop off seed to share if they had any and wander around the room helping themselves. People were able at attend the event and take seed even if they had none to share.

- How do you increase locally saved seeds through your seed swap?
We personally contact folks we know who are seed savers and ask them to attend the event.

- Do you partner with other organizations when doing the seed swap? If so, what type of organizations?
We have shared seed with the entity that oversees the community garden and the food bank. Originally with baggies of about 15 types of seed. We came to the conclusion that these "Victory Garden Starter Kits" were wasteful and started putting out varieties of seed and allowing the garderer to take just what they needed.

- Do you have any other programming (ex. lectures, hands-on, literature) associated with the seed swap?
Yes, we have held swaps following lectures on gardening and seed saving. This has been very sucessful. We try to have folks from local seed companies come to lecture at least once a year. We also have seeds available at our seedling swap in the spring and our monthly "planting parties."

We ALWAYS have literature available: a planting calendar for our area, info on "easy to save" seed (beans, peas, tomatoes, lettuce), a more in depth handout on how to save seed that crosses, a handout on how and why to save seed to donate to the library.

Include the name of your seed library/group, location (town, state/province, country).
The Seed library at the Round Valley Public Library, Covelo (Mendocino County), CA, USA

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