Seed Swap help!
February 14, 2012 12:33 PM   Subscribe

The community garden where I volunteer is planning their first ever seed swap and I’m the one organizing it. Help!

Having never been to a seed swap before I was hoping for some pointers for organizing one. We’ve set the date (March 3rd), reserved a room at the library, and I have some people who are willing to help. Now all I need to do is promote and manage the event!

If you’ve organized a seed swap, what works or doesn’t work? Did attendees RSVP? Did you give out seed tickets (bring one package, get one ticket) or did you manage the swapping a different way? Do you ask people to re-package the seeds beforehand or was this done at the swap?

Any pointers or stories would be appreciated.
posted by bCat to Home & Garden (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ask people not to show up with just a basket full of seed packets, but also with a list of what they're interested in sharing, to facilitate conversation that doesn't involve rummaging. Preferably more than one copy: one or two for them to show people, and they can check off as they give away, and one for a central table (you) so someone can walk into the room and check all the lists to see who might have X-seeds without having to go to every single table. (but yours is just the starting inventory, everybody tracks their own stock)

I just realized I was assuming everybody would keep their own seeds and do their own bartering; kind of like a farmer's market, everybody has their own stall. Another way to do it would be where everybody contributes to a central stash and then takes out of the central stash, but that's (a) a lot more work for the organizer and (b) causes difficulty for unequal value contributions (i.e. I bring in 10 packets of very common seed to put in the library, and take out 8 packets of interesting seeds, and no one actually wants anything I put in. Is this fair?) So my recommendation is that you, as the organizer, just find a date/time/place for the event, and then let the free market do its thing.

BUT, I've never been to a "real" seed swap, I've only done (1) an internet exchange by mail, and (2) had a friends-pub-night with 4 of us and our boxes of seeds and Excel printouts, and the guy who was just getting started and needed seeds bought the beer. That doesn't scale up very well, so maybe my ideas don't help you much.
posted by aimedwander at 1:48 PM on February 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


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