Hawaii-based Eating in Public has designed this simple guide to building your own local seed swap station.
If you work in a space with a lot of foot traffic—a coffee shop, a gallery, a library, a store—here's how you can build your own seed swapping station.
Seed swapping isn't exactly new; it's probably been around nearly as long as agriculture itself. But in recent years, as giant ag companies like Monsanto have pushed to patent seeds and have also gained control of gardening catalogs, there's been increasing interest in saving seeds from your own garden and sharing with neighbors.
Earlier this week, we noticed a library in Colorado that lets patrons borrow seeds along with their books. Similar stations are popping up in many other communities, thanks in part to a grassroots Hawaii-based group called Eating in Public (their other projects have included everything from planting food on public land to creating "free stores," where anyone can take or leave items).
Eating in Public (EIP) made a free, easy-to-use, downloadable guide to building your own seed station, in a variety of models to fit any space. The group also provides some stations free of charge. Built from recycled or scrap wood, they include staplers, stamps, envelopes, and a starter pack of seed packets.
The stations are designed to work with monitoring; organizations that adopt them directly from EIP just agree to occasionally restock envelopes and staples, and send photos back to the group. So far, the stations can be found everywhere from a coffeehouse in Ontario, to farmers markets in Hawaii, to an art gallery in New York. Visit Eating in Public to learn more about adopting your own.
Images courtesy of Eating in Public