Outdoors

Swapping Seeds

Springing into winter

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It’s hard to imagine planting seeds in the ground when the terra firma is frozen solid, but, believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about what you want to see in your spring and summer gardens—whether it’s an heirloom tomato patch, green beans that reach toward the sky, a zigzagging line of red and orange poppies, or simply enough lettuce to keep you and your family in the green for a few months.

Although you probably won’t be able to head outside and get your hands dirty for a little while yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for the future. For example, it’s never too early to write up a list of what you’re hoping to grow this year, and think about where you’re going to put whatever you choose. 

Seed catalogs are a great place to get bright ideas, but might we suggest you also look for inspiration closer to home? “Getting Seeds Into the Hands of the People,” a Community Seed Swap happening Sun., Jan. 27 at the Majestic, aims to not only get people excited about the upcoming planting season, but also provide them with the organic matter to make their digging dreams come true. 

Put on by Sustainable Bellingham, the event is not just intended for those with leftover seeds from the last year or two on their hands. Even if you don’t have anything to swap, organizers say you’ll be welcome to show up and collect your fair share of growing goods. 

If you’re bringing seeds to swap, there are a few rules to follow. Whatever you do, don’t bring Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) along.

As part of its mission statement, Sustainable Bellingham is dedicated to “becoming self and community-reliant (not self-sufficient) at the local level and rebuilding communities based on the local production of food, energy and goods as well as the relocalization of governance and culture.” GMOs have no place here, in other words. (Squash seeds are also on the “thanks, but no thanks” list.)

Participants are also asked to label their seeds—which can include heirloom seeds, packaged seeds, edible tubers and seed potatoes—and bring extra envelopes to share. After the doors open at 1pm, organizers will school attendees on “swap etiquette” and share stories. At 2pm, Celt Schira will lead a “Basic Seed Saving” talk. Other than that, those who show up are welcome to trade seeds until the doors close.

Judging by the pictures from last year’s event on Sustainable Bellingham’s Facebook page—which feature dozens of warmly dressed people hunkered around a variety of long tables sussing out the seeds—the event is obviously a popular winter destination for those who are counting the days until the ground thaws and they can start producing their own food and flowers again.

Even if you don’t have a lot of space to plant or haven’t been able to muster up the enthusiasm to get excited about spring, it’s a good bet that attending the Community Seed Swap will give you ideas—whether they’re big, small or somewhere in between. The days are already getting longer, and, before you know it, you’ll be cleaning dirt out of your fingernails and complaining about weeds.

West Coast Wellness
More Outdoors...
Ski to Sea
Back to the basics

Shortly before Christmas, Whatcom Events sent out a press release letting the media—and the public—know that registration for the perennially popular 44th annual Ski to Sea Race would commence on the second day of the new year.

Although that was welcome news to the racers and athletic…

more »
Ride On
Bike to Work Day

If you’ve never experienced the thrill of rolling into a “celebration station” on Bike to Work & School Day, another chance is coming to be part of the excitement on Fri., May 19 at a variety of locales in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County.

The rules of engagement are simple. As…

more »
Sea Change
Women on the water

Early in her maritime career, Captain Deborah Dempsey met plenty of people who had a hard time believing she could crew or command a 600-foot ship.

But during her 40-year stint at sea, Dempsey proved her worth time and again, becoming not only the first woman to command a cargo ship on an…

more »
Events
Today
Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am| Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

What-A-Sho!

7:00pm|Bellingham High School

Julius Caesar

7:30pm|Miller Hall

Twelfth Night

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Cornwall Park

Seconds Sale

10:00am|Good Earth Pottery

Seaweed Beach Ramble

10:00am|Living Earth Herbs

Book Trailers

12:30pm|Ferndale Library

Valley writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Sin & Gin Tours

4:00pm|Whatcom County Tourism

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Ski to Sea Block Party

5:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

School of Rock

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

WWU Orchestra

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Genre Legends

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Lester and Hyldahl
Tomorrow
Ski to Sea Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am| Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Twelfth Night

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

Julius Caesar

7:30pm|Miller Hall

Sin & Gin Tours

4:00pm|Whatcom County Tourism

School of Rock

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Genre Legends

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Lummi Island Artists Studio Tour

10:00am|Lummi Island

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Low Tide Picnic

11:30am|Marine Park

Stones Throw Block Party

12:00pm|Stones Throw Brewery

Blossomtime Parade

12:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Project Connection

1:00pm|East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

We Are WWU

6:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Salsa Night

9:30pm|Cafe Rumba

Trove Northwood Steak and Crab
Sunday
BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am| Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Twelfth Night

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

School of Rock

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Back to the basics

7:00am

Ski to Sea Race

7:00am|Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Fairhaven Festival

12:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Images of Resilience Farewell

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Audubon at the Museum

2:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Art of Jazz

4:00pm|Majestic

see our complete calendar »

Trove Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Bellingham Farmer’s Market Lester and Hyldahl Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1