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Good to Grow Toledo GROWs Seed Swap

  • Subject: [cg] Good to Grow Toledo GROWs Seed Swap
  • From: "Michael Szuberla" tgrows2@toledogarden.org
  • Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2006 11:37:40 -0500


Good to grow: Annual seed swap is a kind of cultural exchange program

The sharing of seeds is an ancient tradition, and helps define a group of

"Seeds are, in a sense, suitcases in which people can transport their
cultures with them," says Mike Szuberla, coordinator of Toledo Grows, host
of tomorrow afternoon's free seed swap at Toledo Botanical Garden's Crosby
Conference Center. "Many families have brought their favorite seeds on
tremendous journeys."

Latino gardeners, for example, have saved hot pepper seeds. Asian immigrants
and African-Americans from the south often grow the same varieties of leafy
green vegetables their ancestors did, such as turnip, kale, mustard, and
collard greens.

The word "culture," he notes, is linked to the word cultivation, which means
preparing the soil for planting.

Thousands of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, many of them rare varieties,
will be shared at tomorrow's free event, which begins at 2 p.m. with a talk
by Vicki Gallagher, 577 Foundation horticulturist, about how to save
heirloom seeds. The exchange of seeds will begin at 2:45, says Mr. Szuberla.

People can bring seeds, bulbs, and tubers such as cannas, and even
houseplants to share.

"There are many, many varieties that are sort of endangered varieties and
the way to preserve them is to get people to grow them, eat them, and save
the seeds," he says. "I make a point of trying to get diverse seeds."

Look for as many as 50 varieties of tomatoes, including Cherokee Purple,
Green Zebra, Arkansas Traveler, and Silver Fir.

Toledo Grows, the community-gardening outreach program of Toledo Botanical
Garden, receives thousands of donated seed packets each winter.

Sometimes, seldom-seen varieties are delicious but don't stand up well for
shipping or have odd shapes. "It's an opportunity for people to try
something different."

Tomorrow, seeds will be grouped at tables where master gardeners will answer
questions. Handouts will have information about when and how to start
various plants. Green peppers, for example, can be planted indoors now, and
peas can be planted outside when the soil can be worked.

The swap, which began last year, grew out of Mr. Szuberla's need to
downsize. "The original inspiration was office cleaning."

As the community-gardening outreach program of Toledo Botanical Garden,
Toledo Grows receives thousands of seed packets each winter, donated by
companies such as Rupp Seeds, Inc., of Wauseon.

Adding to the fun will be music by the Honeytruckers, a local old-time band,
and the Syreens, a women's old-time band from the Detroit area.

The Seed Swap and talk in the Crosby Conference Center at Toledo Botanical
Garden are free and open to the public. TBG is at 5403 Elmer Dr. off
Reynolds Road. Information: 419-936-2975 or tgrows2@toledogarden.org.

Contact Tahree Lane at:

. WHAT: Toledo Grows Seed Swap. The free public
event will have vegetable, herb, and flower seeds;
master gardeners to answer questions, and handouts to
explain when and how to start various plants.

. WHEN: Tomorrow. Vicki Gallagher, 577 Foundation horticulturist, talks
about how to save heirloom seeds at 2 p.m., and the seed swap begins at

. WHERE: Crosby Conference Center at Toledo
Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Dr.

. INFORMATION: 419-936-2975 or tgrows2@toledogarden.org.

or 419-724-6075.

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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