Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Places to Get Free Seeds

As Toledo inches towards the annual snowfall record (and we've become so punchy that people are actually rooting for us to hit it), we dream of spring.  If you yearn for little green things to poke up through the ground, there's a place where you can get free seeds--if you follow instructions and aren't greedy.

A New York based nonprofit, WinterSown, gives free seeds from flowering and vegetable plants. You have to send stamped, self-addressed envelopes, and a printout of the calendar at their order site.  This is important--choose which you want, the six-pack of various flowering/herb/vegetable seeds, or the you-choose tomato pack--and print the calendar that goes with it.  The tomato varieties are beauties, too--stuff like Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, and Arkansas Traveler, which performed like a champ for me in the hottest summer a couple of years ago.  They also have a program for groups, which is free but requires a $20 shipping fee.  Just don't make multiple requests, or you will be cut off. 

For Toledoans, there is the Toledo Botanical Garden Seed Swap this Saturday, February 22nd, from noon to 3 p.m. at Woodward High School.  Even if you don't have any seeds to swap, you can get tickets at the door of this free event to swap.  The seeds are from the 2012 or 2013 growing year, but they still have lots of life in them (it's where I got the excellent Arkansas Traveler seeds). 

Alas, I found out too late that the national seed swap day is always the last Saturday in January each year.  Check early next year at their blog for a list of events around the country.

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