Getting started

Four ingredients for a successful seed swap

By Lindy Sharpe

There are four indispensable ingredients for a successful Seed Swap:

1. Organisers

If you don't already know enough people who want to help, put up notices where you think interested people might see them - such as the library, health food shops, food co-ops or garden centres. Explain what a Seed Swap is and ask people to get in touch. You could also contact local allotments groups, and make use of internet forums / discussion lists, websites, etc. Aim for a small group of people you like and can rely on. In subsequent years, you can put the arrangements on a more formal footing. It's useful to recruit people who have the sort of administrative, communications and practical skills you will need to plan the event, keep track of finances, do publicity and run the event on the day.

2. Seeds

These actually come first - your seed collectors will need advance notice to collect seeds at the end of the summer before you hold your Seed Swap. The seeds should come from local gardeners and growers who grow open-pollinated varieties of vegetable. If you decide you want to be all-organic, you will need to choose organic growers. Remind them to label their seeds clearly. The more seed collectors you have, the better. You may find you have more customers for seed than you have collectors, especially at first. Talk to other Seed Swaps around the country for advice and guidance. They may even have seeds they can let you have (see our Links and Events pages).

3. Venue

This can be anything from a private garden to a community centre or church hall - the choice will depend on your budget and how many people you expect. You may have to book the venue well in advance, so it should be one of the first things you do once you have got your group of organizers together and established that you have enough people who can supply seed.

4. Publicity

This sounds like an afterthought, but it's essential. If no one turns up on the day, you won't have a seed swap. And publicity can't be left to the last minute - it has to be planned and sustained. Use every means available to let people know what a seed swap is, and when and where yours is taking place. See the Publicity page.

This page was added on 25/01/2008.
Comments about this page

Im not a big fan of Seeds of Change. They got BOUGHT out by M M? Mars YES!- the candy bar company) . and since then, I beivlee they are going down hill, since they are corporate owned. On Seed Savers, I didnt have their catalog' vs Yearbook , so they? were not mentioned. They will actually get their OWN episode, as its so important. Its on the list ..

By Luciana
On 03/09/2012