Seed Swapping

In the days before my wonderful wife came onto the scene and introduced me to a greener lifestyle, I tended to be a little careless with my pennies. Live life in the fast lane and deal with consequences later. And when it came to waste, I wasn’t the most efficient. Recycling was something I thought the washing machine did.

But over the years, my eyes have been opened and I now look at life in a very different and more appreciative way. No longer am I part of the ‘plastic generation’ who use now then throw away later. Instead, I recycle whenever I can. Waste is deposited safely and with a conscience.

The allotment is a haven for this golden rule: we scavenge, create and recycle. At times the a plot can look like something from a Tracey Emin collection rather than somewhere to grow your brassicas, but no two allotments should ever look the same. We’re all very different and our creativeness is unique to each and everyone of us.

At this time of year we take stock, sit-down with our laptops, paper and pencils, and start drawing up seed lists for next year. What do we want to eat? What haven’t we tried? What will look good on the plot (and get the old boys whispering behind the sheds)?

list

There can be some expense involved, something no gardener is keen on. However, having recently met a fellow gardener at an industry lunch, we quickly got talking about seeds, and a few days later, he got in touch to offer me some. No hidden agenda, nothing in return, a kind gesture in the spirit of sharing. I, of course, gratefully accepted, and then it got me thinking. Just by sharing a few seeds with fellow plot holders and gardeners, not only do we save on costs and resources, but hearts are warmed and smiles are raised. I look forward to returning the favour.

list-2

I’m sure seed swaps occur on some community gardens and allotments, but I’ve never come across it before. Wouldn’t it be nice if it happened on all allotments and community gardens?

It makes sense really.

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7 thoughts on “Seed Swapping

  1. I think our allotment shop has an informal ‘help yourself’ seed box on the counter, with donations from society members welcome. I’ve always had far too many seeds to hand to ever need to dig through for any I might be missing though. A GYO magazine subscription and my ‘hey, that looks interesting…’ seed-buying habit means I’m rarely short on options.

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    1. See, now that’s what I like to hear. I wish our allotment had this. Like you, I too always have too many seeds. So I grow as much as possible into young plants then give them away to friends & family. People seem to prefer this, as they think the hard work’s already done.

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  2. Its a brilliant idea. I’ve been lucky enough to receive some seedlings off other allotment holders when I first took the site on. Also there is a seed swap going on, on one of the Facebook groups (The Allotment Shed). All it costs is the price of a stamp and some goodwill 🙂 I’ve sent off some of my Pot Marigold seeds. But I have so many it seems like the recipient is doing me a favour by taking them off my hands 🙂

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      1. Haha well as a 40 something myself I remember Swap Shop (and the jumpers they wore) really well. Certainly will keep it going, people seem to have varieties of plants I’ve never heard of, so I can’t wait to try growing them 😀

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