Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Everybody's doing it: the ex-urban seed swap!

This past Sunday Forest Park Community Garden hosted it's second ever - and first public - seed swap. As a board member I was able to see the planning process unfold, not to mention a sneaky peak at some of the seeds that would be available for swapping.

Over 50 people showed up at the Park District building to swap seeds and learn gardening tips from our Master Gardener-in-Training Debbie and her precocious daughter Kara. They demonstrated how to make planters out of newspaper and aluminum cans as well as discuss winter sowing. In addition to offering up some Detroit Red Beets and Pole Beans, I was able to contribute some materials in the form of the NY Times Sunday and five Mountain Dew Code Red cans, thankyouverymuch.

Click here to see a video of Debbie and Kara demonstrating winter sowing and some DIY garden projects.

Although Illinois (Zone 5 represent!) is still wracked with icy coldness, this seed swap reminded us that spring is not so far away. I came away with some interesting seeds: bok choy, Bloody Butcher tomatoes (!), Arkansas Traveler tomatoes, pepperoncini and much more, as well as inspiration about how to arrange my yard to maximize growing space while creating an appealing setting for hanging out. Unfortunately this means diagramming and mapping and doing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with watching wedding shows or planning months off holiday meals, my strong suits.

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