By Tomato Queen
[This is part 2 of two-part article series. View part 1]
Local garden exchanges are a great opportunity to find random treasures that are someone else’s nuisance, as well as to find homes for plants that need thinning out and taking over.
But what about being able to plan for next year’s garden?
When you’re enjoying your harvest, keep a mind toward preserving this year’s favorite seeds for yourself and also to exchange with others.
Seed exchanges are what you call win-win–you can request seeds you want, send out your favorites, and also find an appreciative gardener who can make good use of the seeds from plants you didn’t enjoy that much.
Seed exchanges are a fantastic way to share the wealth. Often for the cost of postage, you can try any number of different varieties of tomatoes (and other plants, of course); find uses for your leftover seed; and enjoy contributing to alternative gardening and farming culture instead of relying on major companies and increasingly proprietary strains.
It’s a pretty idyllic model: you can have an incredibly diverse garden of non-genetically modified heirloom vegetables on a shoestring budget.
Several seed exchange organizations also have online forums for discussion, feedback and commentary, so there’s opportunity to more actively communicate with other gardeners and enjoy the neighborhood.
You can find both free seed exchanges (no selling involved) or stores/catalogs from which you can purchase seeds and support the seed exchange movement.