By SILKE JAUCK
Save the date – and your seeds!
Missoula Seed Swap: January 20, 2012 at Orchard Homes Country Club
Not being a native Montanan, starting a garden in Missoula remains an adventure for me.
I’m still learning what it means to garden in our Rocky Mountain climate. It’s a process to find out which flowers, veggies, trees, and shrubs do best. Like many others, I have been trading advice, plants, and seeds with gardening friends. They had Montana proven plants: hardy, low-water using, and tough. Some were even deer-resistant. Their seeds actually sprouted and grew into fruit-bearing plants before the first frost.
I remember one of my first eggplant-growing frustrations. Shortly after my plants finally had a single flower, the frost came. Now, I have a good mix of herbs and veggies and even native wildflowers are growing in my garden.
Wouldn’t it be a great to get local gardeners together and swap seed and experiences? Like many of my gardening friends, I always have extra seeds left to share. I have heard of several other groups who do seed exchanges at a small scale.
How does a seed swap work? With the gardening season slowly ending, this is the perfect time to start preparing for a seed swap. Collect seeds of plants you would like to exchange and put them in small labeled bags and swap them at our upcoming community seed swap with the seeds of another gardener. There is no money involved; our swap is a two-way trade.
The benefits are many:
- You don’t need to buy seeds
- You get the opportunity to try out new varieties
- It promotes plant diversity
- You’ll learn what grows best in our Missoula climate
- It’s a great purpose for the extra seeds from the previous season
I’m hoping that many people are interested and we can get a big variety of seeds. If possible, please show a picture of the actual plant and have planting instructions at the seed swap. We will meet on January 20, 2012 at the Orchard Homes Country Club, corner of Third and Reserve streets.
I’m very excited about this and will provide more info as the date comes closer. For now: Save the date and your seeds, and enjoy the beautiful Missoula fall!
Silke Jauck is a German native and Missoulian by choice. She and her family have packed and unpacked their suitcases and moving boxes in four continents and have finally settled in Missoula and called it home. She lives with her husband, three daughters, and a dwarf rabbit in the Target Range neighborhood. Silke is the publisher of Friendship Book, a made in Montana keepsake and activity book for children ages 6-12. She also has a blog about life hacks at Silke Good Ideas.