I am a huge proponent of sharing and the free exchange of ideas and items, which is why when I learned that there was a seed swap happening in my current hometown, I was happy to participate.
Seed swaps are events where people can bring seeds that they have either saved themselves (i.e. collected from plants they grew in their garden or found growing elsewhere) or have purchased and trade them for seeds brought in by other participants. Bringing seeds isn’t always a requirement though – in some cases, if you have no seeds to offer, you can take what seeds you need and then plan to bring some to the following year’s swap.
Seed swaps are great ways to be introduced to plant varieties that you may not be familiar with and to get ideas for what to grow in your garden. They are also a huge benefit to people who would really like to have a garden but have limited money to purchase seeds. Another benefit, of course, is that it gives you an opportunity to unload all of your old seeds – seeds that you may no longer be interested in but someone else might.
There are also social and educational benefits to seed swaps. Mingling with other gardeners gives you a chance to meet new friends and learn from their gardening experiences. Depending on the seed swap, there may also be classes and workshops to attend where one can learn more about seed saving and general gardening.
The seed swap that I attended was called Seedy Saturday, and it was hosted by the Treasure Valley Food Coalition. I highly recommend finding a seed swap in your area and giving it a try. If there is no seed swap where you are, start one!