Archive for the 'Seed Swaps' Category

What is one of the most empowering community building activities? Seed Swaps of course!

Come join us for the 12th Annual Eugene Food Not Lawns Seed Swap in Eugene.

Saturday, December 14, 2013  – 10:00am until 1:00pm

The fall-winter Food Not Lawns seed swap in Eugene traditionally attracts high quality seed from experienced seed stewards, eating out of local soils. Please bring seed or other abundance to share freely. Feel free to come come completely empty-handed

2013 Food Not Lawns Seed Swap 12th Annual

2013 Food Not Lawns Seed Swap 12th Annual

1 Comment Andrew Still on Dec 6th 2013

This year’s Spring Propagation Fair is set for Saturday, March 23, from 11 am to 3 pm at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. This community event is free and open to the public.

As always, seed, plants, and scion will be available free of charge. Root stock and grafting services will be available for a small fee. There will be speakers presenting throughout the day (including us!)

Find out all of the juicy details at the official website:

Volunteers are needed for this event.

No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Feb 20th 2013

The Spring Propagation Fair will be Saturday, March 24, from 11- 5, at Lane Community College in Eugene, OR.

The free event includes a seed swap, scion wood (root stock available for a small fee), and workshops throughout the event.

The folks putting on this year’s Spring Propagation Fair have a snazzy website. It’s chock full of information, including workshop schedule and info on some of the great scion wood that will be available.

Check out the website at

See you there!

No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Mar 15th 2012

The Institute of Contemporary Ethnobotany and the Seed Ambassadors Project present:

Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011
1:00 – 3:00 pm
The Community Room at the East Blair Housing Coop,
940 W. 4th st. Eugene, OR.
(Btwn. Adams & Jackson also accessable from W. 4th alley)
Build community by sharing surplus harvest bounty with your friends and neighbors at this annual event.
Bring your seeds, plants, canned goods, brews, tinctures, food, instruments, friends, or just yourself!

This is going to be great fun as usual and we hope to see some new faces.

It is OK to come empty handed, however you may be empowered to come next time carrying a bounty to share.

No Comments Andrew Still on Nov 4th 2011

We’ll be leading a seed saving workshop in Eugene this Saturday October 1st, at a super cool community garden plot that was planted as a seed garden.

Nikki Maxwell’s RAFT Garden features endangered Northwest Heirloom crops, including Oregon Giant Pole Beans, Immigrant Bush Dry Beans, Lower Salmon River Squash, Hooker’s Sweet Corn, Marshal Strawberries, and Oregon Delicious Melons. RAFT stands for Renewing America’s Food Traditions, and is an alliance that seeks to preserve, protect, and promote the incredible, regional, food diversity of North America. The vegetables in the RAFT garden are all featured in the Slow Food Ark of Taste which means they are all delicious and are in danger of extinction.

We’ll do some hands on seed saving of each of these crops, and provide samples of some of them for folks to snack on. Did I mention there will be dozens of Oregon Delicious Melons there? In addition to going home with Melon Belly, participants will also have the opportunity to take home seeds of these varieties, Free!

The RAFT garden is located at the east end of the Whittaker Community Garden, near the river bike path at the end of N. Polk in Eugene. Bring your own chair if you want to sit. The event is free and open to the public, and will begin 2pm.

Please spread the word among your gardening friends!

No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Sep 28th 2011

Hi Everyone,

Spring has sprung, and now it’s time to propagate! (Plants, that is.)

This year’s Spring Propagation fair will be this Sunday, March 27, at Lane Community College in Eugene, from 11 – 5.

Come share and gather seeds, fruit tree scion wood, and other plant propagation materials with your friends and neighbors.

More information is below, including workshop schedule. For more information or to volunteer, please contact

Hope to see you this Seedy Sunday


No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Mar 22nd 2011

The Institute of Contemporary Ethnobotany and the
Seed Ambassadors Project present:


Sunday, Dec. 5
1:00 – 3:00 pm
(come at noon to help set up!)

The Community Room at the East Blair Housing Coop,
940 W. 4th St, Eugene, Oregon
(Between Adams & Jackson also accessible from W. 4th alley)

Build community by sharing surplus harvest bounty with
your friends and neighbors at this annual event.

Bring your seeds, plants, canned goods, brews,
tinctures, food, instruments, friends, or just
yourself! (piano on site…)

See you there!
Your seedy friends

3 Comments Sarah Kleeger on Nov 27th 2010

Attention Garden enthusiasts and Seed Savers,

4 important details:

1) Plant and Seed Swap
2) Sat March 20th 2:30-5pm
3) Westminster House (23rd and Monroe, Corvallis, OR)

This Seed Swap is being put on by the HOURS Exchange — Corvallis’ Community Currency group. In addition to the seed swap, they will be hosting a Market Event where people can buy and sell goods using the community currency. So not only do you get to swap some garden goodies to get your garden year started off right, you also get to see the local currency in action (and participate if you wish) in the indoor market.

How to participate:
- Bring your extra cuttings, bulbs, plant starts, etc. (Please label clearly – labels will also be available at the swap)
- Bring extra seeds (saved or what-not). You don’t have to pre-divide into small quantities
- Invite your fellow gardeners to bring their extras and enjoy the bounty (no need to be an HOURS member)
- Bring extra containers/grocery sacks or seed envelopes, as items may not already be divided
- Or just come ready to learn!

This will be held outdoors and organized to facilitate easy trades. We will be bringing will be plenty of seed so don’t worry if you have nothing to contribute. Wannabe gardeners are encouraged to attend.

Just to entice you, I know the following will be coming just from the HOURS organizers: chocolate mint starts, rosemary starts, marionberry starts, broccoli starts, amaranth seed, local barley seed, local wheat seed, etc.

What a great way to spread the wealth around! Any leftovers plants will be given to Lincoln K-8 School Garden, the Environmental Center’s SAGE Garden or to other charity groups.

No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Mar 16th 2010

The Eugene Permaculture Guild’s big Spring Propagation Fair is coming up the second Saturday in March, the 13th, at Lane Community College. More details will follow on that one, but for those of you that don’t live within driving distance of Eugene, Oregon, here are a few tips for organizing your own Seed Swap. (Thanks to Kim in central Virginia for the e-mail prompting this blog post.)

The folks at Seedy Sunday Brighton have a whole page devoted to hosting a seed swap. Food not Lawns also has a bit about organizing one.

The first thing is to get some friends involved, because it can be a lot of work (organizing, set up, clean up, promotion, etc.). If you don’t know anyone that will help you, post some fliers at garden stores or your local natural foods store, or maybe even the community garden bulletin board if your community is lucky enough to have one.

We have seen a few ways seed swaps can be organized. You have to decide which is best for your group.

Seedy Sunday Brighton has a central table, and when people come in, they give their seeds to the table, then volunteers organize them for redistribution. This way seems overly centralized and impersonal to me, but it works for them, and it may be necessary to do it this way at an event that draws upwards of 1,000 people. They also charge a small entrance fee to cover their expenses and require either a straight across swap of seed for seed or 50 pence for a seed pack, partly because “people don’t value that which is free.” At every other seed swap I have been to, everything is free.

A second way is to set up tables and have people stand near their stuff, so they can explain it to others that might have questions. This is what we do at the smaller fall seed swap.

A third way, which is also good, is to set up tables and have designated areas for different types of plants: flowers, herbs, tomatoes, etc. this is what we do at our large spring seed swap.

Most seed swaps descend into a sort of chaos even with the rough framework, so you could just have some tables and have people toss their seeds wherever they land. Then it’s a real treasure hunt! (more…)

2 Comments Sarah Kleeger on Feb 3rd 2010

Hello everyone,

The 10th annual Food Not Lawns Fall Seed Swap will be on Sunday, November 22.

The event is free and will be at the World Cafe at 449 Blair Blvd. in Eugene, from 1pm-5pm.

Build community by sharing surplus harvest bounty with
your friends and neighbors at this annual event.

Bring your seeds, plants, canned goods, brews,
tinctures, food, instruments, friends, or just

Don’t forget envelopes or other containers for the seed you take home with you.


This Sunday, November 8, the Seed Ambassadors Project will be part of a neighborhood seed swap in the Bethel area of Eugene. 2pm – 6pm at the Petersen Barn, 870 Bertnzen Road, Eugene, Oregon.

This event is the culmination of the first year of activity for the Tree By Tree project, which cares for and harvests from mature fruit trees in the neighborhood. It is all free with lots of hands-on activities for adults and kids.

We hope to see you at one of these great events!

Nick shares samples of storage apple and pear varieties at last year's Food Not Lawns Fall Seed Swap

No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Nov 5th 2009

The Seed Ambassadors Project will be giving a Seed Saving workshop this Sunday, August 16 from 1pm – 3pm at the Skinner City Farm in Eugene.

Spinach seed head ready to process

Spinach seed head ready to process


No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Aug 13th 2009

Over 35 people turned out for the 6th annual Winter Cropping Workshop at Food for Lane County’s (FFLC) Youth Farm in Springfield.

Nick Routledge talks winter croping

Workshop presenters Ted Purdy, FFLC farmer; Andrew Still of the Seed Ambassadors Project; and Nick Routledge provided a wealth of information about the right conditions for growing good tasting and fresh vegetables—roots and greens—all winter long.

No Comments kate lucas on Jul 12th 2009

For everyone within driving distance of Eugene, Oregon, this year’s Spring Seed Swap morphs into a full on Propagation Fair with speakers.

Bring your home saved seed to trade and share in the bounty with the seedy community! Also remember to bring empty envelopes and baggies, there is never enough.

In addition to seeds and starts, this year there is a concerted effort to include fruit tree cuttings (scion). Root stock will be available for a small fee, and help with grafting will also be available.

see a full write-up of the event at the Eugene Permaculture Guild’s website

Please come to the Lane Community College Cafeteria
10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. Saturday, March 14.

Here’s a slide show to get people excited about the 2009 season.

View Slide Show Full Screen

No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Mar 12th 2009

Yesterday was the Eugene Permaculture Guild’s annual Spring Seed Swap. Every year, hundreds of gardeners and seed savers convene for a few hours on a Saturday to share seeds, plants, and a potluck meal. The event is more than the free gifting of seeds, though, and has become a pivotal community event for the local gardening scene.

This year was the Seed Ambassadors Project’s first appearance at the spring seed swap, and we brought two grocery bags filled with seed that we have saved in the past few seasons. By the end of the day these bags were whittled down to one tenth of their original quantity. It is so great to think of so many local gardeners growing locally saved seeds! Of course, we did not come away empty handed, as we gathered samples of some locally saved tomatoes, orach, mustard, a gourd, a salsify, a parsley, a root parsley, and a blue flat leafed kale that we are really excited about.

Joy Larkcom’s Bull’s Blood Chard Ukrainian Beet Kamuoliai 2 Beet
Joy Larkcom’s Bull’s Blood Chard, Ukrainian Beet, Kamuoliai 2 Beet (from Lithuania)

We believe that it is essential that home gardeners and farmers save seed to preserve genetic diversity. It is apparent that even small seed companies are unable and/or unwilling to do so, as they must respond to the forces of the market and whims of the large seed companies. Locally stewarded seed is of course optimal, though national seed saving networks, such as the Seed Saver’s Exchange, are also very excellent in this regard. One of the goals of the Seed Ambassadors Project is to encourage local seed saving. Each time a variety of vegetable is saved in a particular bioregion (or microclimate or garden), it adapts to the specific conditions of that place. Ultimately, food sovereignty begins with seed sovereignty.

As we have mentioned in previous posts, our seed quest last winter resulted in the collection of more than seven hundred varieties of seed, many not available in the United States. Added to this amount are the fifty or so varieties we collected this year in Romania, and a few dozen other varieties collected by other friends Seed Ambassadorizing in Mexico and Italy. While we are doing everything we can to grow out as many of these varieties as possible in our own large seed garden, isolation distances required by many biennial outbreeders (beets and chard, brassicas, onions and leeks, parsnips and carrots) severely limit the amounts of these species we can grow out to seed in any given season.

Sarah Kleeger and John Herberg Gardening Russian Hunger Gap Kale Sarah Kleeger, Alison Kinney and Sutherlin Kale
Sarah and John Herberg with some onions, Russian Hunger Gap Kale, Alison Kinney with Sutherlin Kale

Last year we grew several of each of these species, not quite knowing how we would isolate them this year for flowering and seed production. Several people have contacted us through our website and offered to help (thank you!), and we are trying to plug these people in as much as possible.


No Comments Sarah Kleeger on Mar 30th 2008