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Seed swapping in Swindon

By Sarah Ward

Continuing our seed swap theme, here we hear from Incredible Edible Swindon about their seed swap event they hold every Spring.  Not only are the events great ways to share seeds, they are also great social events which help build community connectedness.

A couple of years ago the folks at Incredible Edible Swindon realised that no one ran a seed swap in Swindon and so decided to set about organising one. They spoke with the people at the Central Community Centre in Swindon’s Railway Village where they already support food growing and gardening along with the residents, and they kindly agreed to offer their hall for free, and so a date was set!

Moving forwards the date is being set for the Swindon Seed Swap for 2019, at the same place, following it’s huge success and when we spoke to Kathryn Hay, a member of the Incredible Edible Swindon team, she was gearing up along with the team to get organising.

So how does it work?

Well first and foremost the Incredible Edible Swindon team save some seeds from their gardens which they pop into envelopes for people to share and they also get donations of seeds from local garden centres who are usually only too happy to give seeds away to local community groups. This is a great start and means there is a bank of seeds available before anyone arrives.

When people arrive if they have seeds to swap, it’s free entry, but you can go if you have no seeds and just pay a donation on arrival. The donation helps to support the amazing Incredible Edible work going on across Swindon. The donated seeds are collected at the door and placed in alphabetical order by the team, and then you can just wander around, taking what seeds you might fancy giving a go in the following season.

Of course, as an Incredible Edible event there has to be tea and cake, and people often hang around, talking about growing, community and the different projects that they are involved in as they wait to see what other seeds might appear. This makes it a really important networking event for the community, and Kathryn said it was fabulous for connecting with folks she hadn’t possibly seen over the winter, ready for the season ahead.

If you’re in the Swindon area, keep an eye on Incredible Edible Swindon’s Facebook page, for information about the Spring 2019 seed swap event.  If your group fancy holding a similar event, have a look at our seed envelopes which are a great way to promote your group as well as share seeds.  The templates require a bit of Blue Peter scissors and glue to become seed packets and is a great activity for everyone to get involved in on a rainy day.  And if you need a bit of confidence on how to grow from seed, have a look at our section on growing from seed in the Toolshed – sign up required.

What a fabulous start to the season to look forward to each year!