Isn't it time to chisel through the ice and start planting, already? This winter's been enough to make even the blackest thumb long for gardening season.
Local artist Holly Schroeder, owner of South City Studio, is way ahead of us. She's spent the winter planning "Drop. Swap. Grow.", a day of seed-swapping and garden education on March 6 at Urban Eats Cafe and Bakery.
"I gathered inspiration from the Upcycle Exchange." explains Schroeder. "I was planning my garden and realized that there would be a lot of wasted seed and I was somewhat discouraged by the cost to get everything I wanted even though I knew it would be a sound investment. I got the idea to do an old fashioned seed swap with a modern spin and then I contacted Autumn [Wiggins], since she's a natural partner, to see if she wanted to join in the fun and she said yes, thank goodness!
Anyone can participate, regardless of gardening skill level. Start buying seeds now; Schroeder recommends going with organic or heirloom varieties. Participants must register through the swap's website, beginning on February 20. While registering, include what kinds of seeds you'll bring.
The day of the event, drop off the seeds and catch some educational programs. Kate Valleroy of Red Anvil will teach City Chickens. Cat Pick of Tiny Montgomery and KDHX covers Packing a Harvest Lunch/Food-to-Go, and Allison Rabbitt of Squaresville will take care of the novices with Beginning Gardening. Make a custom seed pack, then shop the seed buffet. What's available depends on what people bring.
Schroeder hopes the swap will encourage people to explore the sustainability of growing their own food. "I have had a growing interest in sustainable practices for the past few years. To get where I want to be will take time and I think it's a process of making small positive changes over time.
"Growing our own food reaps great rewards for minimal investment. I've been growing a garden of various sizes off and on for about fifteen years. This winter I decided that I really wanted to get serious growing food for a couple reasons: reduce food costs for my family, increase the amount nutritious foods we're eating, and reduce my personal impact on the environment. The wheels really started turning as I started planning for my garden."
She continues, "Ultimately, I hope to bring a diverse group of people together in a meaningful way. Perhaps encourage them to increase sustainable practices in their daily lives and get them excited about gardening by sharing seeds."
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