Join us on 1.16.13 for our 2nd Annual International Seed Swap Day on Twitter at 9pm EST. Yes, Twitter can be used for more than just posting what you had for lunch or talking about your favorite television show. On this day, gardeners will be harnessing the power to social media to create real world change by swapping heirloom seeds, sharing the history of seeds, taking back control of food systems, and usurping the consolidated seed supply. We will green communities by planting edible and ornamental gardens all with seeds swapped on Twitter.
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How the International Seed Swap Day Works
Gather, package and clearly label the heirloom seeds you have to trade. They can be seeds you saved from your garden or they can be seeds handed down through your family. Make a list of the seeds you have to trade, and the seed you are interested in acquiring. Because of the character limitations of Twitter, you will need a place to list the seeds you have and are looking for outside of Twitter.
Last year we had great success using public Google Docs, creating notes on Facebook, blogs and sharing the link to our seed lists by adding the #SeedChat hashtag. If you have access to none of those, try creating a list on your computer or smartphone and saving the list as an image you can upload to your Twitter timeline. Alternately, you can post the seed list to our chat box by signing in with your Twitter account.
How to Swap Seeds
Once you have found someone who has the seeds you’re looking for, tweet them with the #SeedChat hashtag and ask if they could look over your seed trade list and see if you have any seeds they might be interested in swapping for.
After you have made a successful match arrange through direct message (or via Email) to mail the seeds to your seed swap partner. Alternately, if the gardener is in your area you can arrange to meet in person in a public location. Please take all necessary precautions to maintain your privacy and safety. Do not offer seeds for sale, and do not respond to requests to buy seeds from online sellers during the 2nd Annual International Seed Swap Day. Buying and selling seeds goes against the spirit of swapping seeds.
How to Mail Seeds
Because seeds are fragile you will need something other than a standard envelop. Depending on the size of and quantity of your seed swap, you can mail seeds in padded envelopes or a very small box. Padded envelopes can be purchased for cheap from dollar stores in your area. These envelopes will have a thin layer of bubble wrap on the inside. DO NOT MAIL SEEDS IN STANDARD ENVELOPES. When you mail seeds in a standard letter envelope they go through a sorting machine at the post office and the seeds can be crushed. Padded envelopes can be cut in half and reused for more seed swaps in the future. If all you have are standard envelopes, you will need to wrap the seeds in bubble wrap. Make sure your seed packets are clearly labeled with all important info. The full name of the plant, variety and the year you saved the seeds. "Red tomato" and "pretty pink flower" will not be enough. Give the gardener receiving your seeds all the information they will need to grow it successfully.
#SeedChat was founded by @MrBrownThumb and @Xitomatl and is a weekly, hour-long chat on Twitter. Every Wednesday from 9-10pm EST gardeners from across the globe who are passionate about growing plants from seeds converge on Twitter to talk about gardening in general, and growing and saving seeds specifically. Follow the @SeedChat account for updates, news and information on the weekly chats. You can learn more about the founders and moderators at MrBrownThumb and Populuxe.
#SeedChat and the 2nd Annual International Seed Swap Day are not endorsed by Twitter. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or suggestions below.
'If I sowed, planted or dealt in seeds; whatever I did had first in view the destruction of infamous tyrants.' William Cobbett, 1819.