GLENCOE, Ill. (January 15, 2013)- The Chicago Botanic Garden is bringing back its popular seed swap program for a second year with a day full of programs and lectures on Sunday, February 24. The event is designed to teach gardeners the best ways to save and collect seeds and to give them an opportunity to swap seeds with others. A complete schedule is listed below and at www.chicagobotanic.org/calendar/event/seed_swap.
The day begins with seed-saving workshops, led by Shannon Carmody, the program manager of the Seed Savers Exchange. A workshop called Seed-Saving Primer will introduce the basics of seed saving and teach participants to reduce financial investment in their gardens by collecting seeds. During the Planning Your Garden for Seed Saving workshop, participants will learn the difference between open-pollinated and hybrid seed and gain an understanding of plant taxonomy, reproductive structures, and pollination methods. Registration for both workshops is required and available on the Garden’s website.
After the workshops, Seed Savers Exchange Seed Historian Sara Straate will lecture on her favorite stories behind some of the heirloom vegetable and flower seeds in the Seed Savers Exchange collection. Seed Savers Exchange leads the Collection Origins Research Effort (CORE), which documents seed history to better understand and preserve the cultural uses, value, and growing methods of seeds in their stewardship. The lecture is free, although preregistration is required.
The day will be capped off with a seed swap where gardeners are invited to bring leftover vegetable, flower, and herb seed packets to share and swap with others. Beginning gardeners are welcome, and bringing seeds is not required. New this year will also be a Connoisseur’s Corner for more experienced seed savers, where swapping seeds is required.
Schedule of Events
9 – 10 a.m.: Seed-Saving Primer
Each spring, you dream about what to plant, select your bedding plants and seeds, then brace yourself for the total at the checkout counter. Reduce that investment while creating a perpetual garden, in which the seeds you collect from this season become the miracle of next year’s spring. Come learn the essentials to begin your own seed-saving journey.
$19 nonmember; members receive 20% discount
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Planning Your Garden for Seed Saving
If you’re interested in seed saving, understanding some of the basic concepts before you get started will make the process easier. Learn the difference between open-pollinated and hybrid seed and gain understanding of plant taxonomy, reproductive structures, and pollination methods.
$37 nonmember; members receive 20% discount
2 – 3 p.m.: Lecture, "Seed Letters"
At this presentation, you’ll hear the absorbing and touching stories behind some of the favorite heirloom vegetable and flower seeds in the Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) collection. Their Collection Origins Research Effort (CORE) documents seed history in order to understand and preserve the cultural uses, value, and growing methods of the thousands of seeds in their stewardship.
3 – 5 p.m.: Seed Swap
Gardeners are invited to bring saved or leftover vegetable, flower, and herb seed packets to share and swap with other gardeners. Beginners are welcome to participate even without seeds. New this year, more experienced seed savers will enjoy swapping with others at the Connoisseur’s Corner. Ongoing demonstrations will feature starting seeds indoors, germination testing, and seed saving. Chicago Botanic Garden volunteers and staff will share their favorite and recommended varieties for Chicago gardens. Meet staff from Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa.