Swap Seeds and Celebrate Earth Day at El Jardin del Paraiso: Sunday, April 22, 2-5 p.m.

Welcome Spring…maybe. Anyway, let’s celebrate the opening of our community gardens and the (eventual) planting of our food and flowers, with LUNGSNYC annual Spring Awakening Earth Day parade this Sunday, April 22 in the East Village of Manhattan. We will visit 27 community gardens, wearing costumes evoking Spring, Mother Earth, the environment, your favorite plants, and snake our way Pied-Piper-style through Loisaida. 

Meet at 11:30 at El Sol Brillante, E,. 12th St. between Avenues A and B for a ramble through the neighborhood, ending at El Jardin del Paraiso, E 4th St between Avenues C and D at 2 p.m. for refreshments, music, wellness workshops, soap making, and kids activities! And of course, the Children’s Garden at Campos’ annual Seed Swap! 

Here’s the route if you want to join us along the way and where to find us for the Seed Swap:
 

What is a Seed Swap?
A seed swap is a gathering of gardeners, farmers and other people interested in saving and sharing seeds. Seeds can be locally-saved from gardens or farms, excess store bought or donated seeds, or even seeds from another region or country. Often, seed savers share information about their seeds, or people learn more about varieties they have never grown. Seed swaps offer gardeners and other community members the chance to cultivate a network of people to collectively develop and share seeds that support a more diverse and resilient local food supply. Seed swaps are a first step to building a community seed garden or even a full community seed bank.

According to Seed Savers Exchange’s Community Seed Resource Program (CSRP), which donated a portion of the seeds for the swap and which provides tools and guidance to community groups interested in creating seed-focused events, exchanges, libraries and gardens, seed swaps and other community seed saving programs revive a centuries-long tradition we’ve shared around the world in growing our food: “from a handful of seeds, we grow, gather, and share more seeds – enough not only for ourselves but an abundance to pass on to neighbors, family, and the next generation of gardeners and farmers. Saving and exchanging seeds is the way we discover new varieties, preserve heirlooms, and breed locally adapted varieties.”

Who Should Attend?
Anyone interested in saving or learning more about saving seeds, including:

  • Experienced seed savers who want to connect with other gardeners and expand their collections
  • New gardeners and seed savers who want to learn about crop diversity, heirloom and native varieties, seed politics and the power of food sovereignty

Seeds Available for Swap
The Children’s Garden at Campos received a donation of a number of Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom annual and biennial seeds that include many organic and heirloom varieties of:

Beans
Beets
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Corn
Cucumber
Flowers
Herbs
Kale
Kohlrabi
Leek
Lettuce
Melon
Onion
Pea
Pepper
Pumpkin
Radish
Rutabaga
Squash
Swiss Chard
Tomato
Turnip

The garden also has a wide variety of other commercial and previously shared garden seeds for swapping.

What to Bring?
Because this is a swap, please bring seeds to get seeds:

  • All organic, locally-grown/garden-grown, heirloom or non-hybrid varieties of seeds
  • Tubers, plants or cuttings
  • Small bags, envelopes or jars

Please label seeds with as much information as possible/available, including:

  • Common name and variety
  • Latin name (include family, genus and species)
  • Year seeds were collected
  • Where the seeds were grown and who grew them
  • Other information about variety, tips for growing, unique qualities

Feel free to bring photos of the plants, fruits or vegetables that the seeds produce, either from your garden or catalog.

For more information about Spring Awakening’s Earth Day Parade and Festivities, visit LUNGSNYC’s website, @lungsnyc on Twitter and LUNGS-Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens on Facebook. 

 

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