I saw at least two stories over the holiday about seed banks and seed exchanges being in trouble. The premise is that seed companies need to sell seed that has a standard germination rate, set by the “industry,” so folks don’t spend good money on bad seed. In order to enforce this, some states have laws about seed that is distributed being germination tested. Most community seed banks can’t afford this, or do it in-house as many commercial seed companies do. Really it all comes back to money, and trying to protect the consumer, but it gets hijacked by some brain stem with a pulse in government who doesn’t want free seed being given away unless it is germination tested….. Sound silly? I thought so.
So, for a second year (Not in a row, that would be too puny.) we are coordinating a community seed exchange. The details are below, and the only request is that you jump on Facebook and indicate that you are coming. That way we can make sure we have enough zip-tie handcuffs for all you wild law breakers out there. Just kidding about the handcuffs, but we do need to have an idea of how many folks will be there. It’s also a bit of a potluck/snack bar, so please let me know if you want to bring something, and I can put you in touch with the person that is coordinating food. After all, too much guacamole is too much of a good thing, especially if there are no chips to go with it.
From the Stanwood Community Seed Exchange:
“Are you ready for the 2015 garden season? Do you save seed from your garden to re-plant next year, or do you want to learn how? If you have seed to swap, plan to bring 4-8 shares (enough for a family garden), please germ test the seed if at all possible, and please pick just one or two of your favorites. Details on the actual exchange process to follow… And we do have a start on some door prizes…. And just to be clear, you don’t need to have seeds to swap to come, but if you don’t have seeds to swap, you won’t be able to participate in the seed exchange.
Our goal is to involve folks in the Stillaguamish Valley and surrounding areas, as we all share common seasonal variations that make gardening here unique. I am trying to line up a few folks to give informal talks or presentations, and we plan on having a light snack/lunch potluck. Kids are welcome, with parent supervision, because seeds are small and kids are quick.”