Seed swapping

Newly potted seeds and tomato seedlings in the sunroom.

Given the sizes of the growing sites we have had, we tend to have a lot of surplus seeds (and have only dabbled a little, unsuccessfully, in seed-saving thus far). Our new growing area is so much bigger than what we had in the past, but still small by other people’s standards – perhaps a ninth of an acre, probably less.

In years past while living in Dublin we gave our seeds away through the community website WeShare and had plenty of takers.

This year, however, we were able to take part in our first ever in-person (and appropriately socially distanced) organic seed swap event at the market yard in nearby Carrick on Shannon, organised by the lovely people at Knockvicar Organic Gardens.

We arrived with neat little packets of spare seeds from our favoured organic suppliers: cucumber, cauliflower, fennel, sprouts, parsnips, broccoli, cavolo nero, cabbage, etc. And left with an interesting array of mainly saved seed including perennial broccoli, cumin, lemon courgette, soy beans, mustards and mizuna; and flowers: angelica, cat mint, nasturtiums, marigolds…

It seems we are in very good company with other small-scale organic growers in this part of the world, and will definitely try to save some seed this year to share in the next.

We’ve also been taking part in a virtual polytunnel growing course run by NOTS (National Organic Training Skillnet) with expert gardener Klaus Leitenberger. Learning lots!

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