Seeds away!

seeds to wilcox gardens 002

If you have been reading this blog long then you know that I flat hate to throw anything away. This means that my crusade to de-clutter is taking a monumentally long time because I have to sit and think about every last item. Books go to the Friends of the Library book sale. Some things just go straight to the thrift store. Some things go on eBay (vintage items, fabrics, DVDs), and if they don’t sell in one or two tries they go to the thrift store, too. Some things get recycled. Some things go on CraigsList (just today I finally gave away a knee-high stack of denim that had been taking up floor space at the foot of the bed to a crafter who responded to my CraigsList ad). And sometimes I have to find a whole new plan of action.

Seeds are packaged for a certain growing year. In that year they are at their most potent and the greatest majority of them will germinate under the correct conditions. With a few notable exceptions (parsnips come to mind) most seeds are good for two or three years. Sometimes longer. But I have the funds to buy them fresh each year and I do, so that I can be certain I’m going to get a good crop. But I never have been able to throw away the seeds from the previous year. Somebody can use these . . .

Google found me a half dozen charities that collect donations of old seed packets and ship them to third world nations. I also found a few master gardener programs and land grant universities with programs that accept donations of seeds, but they were on the other side of the Rockies, if not the other coast entirely. It’s not that I don’t care about the rest of the world, but this little niche is where I live and it’s where I like to focus my energies. I made up a list of local organizations I thought might be interested in this kind of gift. The WSU Growing Groceries program, my local food bank, and a few individuals who posted wanted ads on CraigsList. But I lucked out with the very first place I called: the nearest community garden.

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My note reads: Free vegetable seeds!* 1-2 years old but still viable Mostly heirloom and open-pollinated. No GMO. (*And a few flowers.)**

[** Note from the future: I have since revised my stance on GMOs after having finally read about them instead of just buying into the general hysteria. My findings are here.]

So on my way to the grocery store (which, incidentally, was also where I met up with my CraigsList crafter and handed over my denim collection) I swung into Wilcox Community Garden and put my gallon-size baggie of seeds on their sign-up table. There’s some great stuff in there, so I hope someone can get some tasty grub out of it.

— Amanda


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