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Share and Share Alike: How to Get Heirloom Seeds to Every Gardener

Follow these techniques for sharing heirloom vegetable and flower seeds with everyone you meet.

| Winter 2013-2014

  • Heirloom and open-pollinated plant varieties have everything to offer and then some.
    Photo courtesy fotolia/

Plant people are undoubtedly threaded together by a few common characteristics, and sharing is a huge part of their natural make-up. We gardeners are nothing if not zealous in our efforts to share advice, stories, recipes, cuttings, and seeds. Especially the seeds.

Every heirloom gardener I've met — and I've met my share — feels compelled to share the bounty with friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family members. We might casually slide a packet of seeds across the table at a coffee house or tuck a bumpy, homemade envelope into someone's pocket at the grocery store.

Heaven help these people if they're even remotely near the vicinity of our gardens, as we're certain to usher them outdoors: encouraged to collect seeds for themselves. No matter what our individual techniques may be, we are determined to share our heirloom bounty. And rightly so. 

Heirloom and open-pollinated plant varieties have everything to offer and then some. My theory is that the only reason every garden doesn't have them is that many gardeners simply haven't been introduced to them yet. Enter you — the heirloom gardener — and your willingness to share seed.

Here are some ideas for sharing heirloom vegetable and flower seeds with everyone you meet:

Throw a Seed Swap

This idea is easily expanded into a spring garden party. Everyone loves an excuse to party; make this one a seed exchange. Invite every gardener you know as well as those who may not garden (yet) to your party — don't leave anyone out. Invitations can go to neighbors, your church group, Bunco group, book club, co-workers, and your kids’ friends’ parents.

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