Merriweather Home + Market, at 25 S. Elm Street, will hold its annual seed swap on Friday, March 24 from 3 to 6 p.m. in partnership with Thistle + Co., Chappell Farms and Vibrant Earth Seeds.
Owner Erin Hanson of Cortez said she has wanted to hold a seed swap for a while, but it hadn’t worked out until this year. After getting a reminder from her sister-in-law, she decided 2023 was the time to finally give it a go.
“I was like, ‘Let’s do it,’” Hanson said. “There’s nothing like that I know of around town. I really wanted to get the community involved because there are so many benefits to doing a seed swap.”
The event is free, and people will bring seeds to swap with others. People bring their homegrown seeds labeled with their name, location and growing notes.
“It really helps with seed diversity,” Hanson said. “It’s really cost-effective as well because it’s free. We just ask that people bring seeds from plants that they have grown in their own gardens. The reason is because it encourages gardeners to try new varieties, but also, when you save seeds year after year, it makes the seeds better adapted to regional climate, diseases or pests.”
Hanson said that seeds like those sold at some national chains have not adapted to the area and likely do not have the benefits of heritage vegetables or flowers.
She also emphasized that those who wish to come but don’t have any seeds of their own are still welcome to attend.
“Even if you don’t have seeds to share, people will still walk away with a ton,” she said.
Local vegetable farmer Avalon Gulley, of Vibrant Earth Seeds, and flower farmer Melynda Carver from Thistle + Co. will bring their own seeds and will be available to answer questions about gardening. Carver will be hosting a class before the event officially starts as well.
“It teaches you how to start seeds at home and how to do it cost-effectively and follow nature’s plan as far as freezing and drying, like how the seeds would naturally,” Hanson said.
She also said the swap will help planters cut gardening costs.
“I think if people could get involved it could really save a lot of money for them and their families,” Hanson said. “Right now, fruits and vegetables (prices) are skyrocketing. Family farms are going to really become more and more prevalent, I think.”
Snacks and refreshments will be provided.