Seed Swap

Lithograph seed packets

Image by etgeek (Eric) via Flickr








Yesterday I went to my first meetup. The location was a lovely farm in Lancaster County, Pa.  We had a seed swap! Everyone brought packs of non-hybrid seeds. I wish I had a picture of the table with all the seeds laid out. Instead I have a picture of the host’s cow, who liked me and slimed up my hand with his runny nose. He was so cute!!

The host put together a spreadsheet for us of the planting windows of some of the common plants. We discussed biodynamics, a particular study of planting and growing. Then we got to the seed swap! Or, like one of the guys there said, a “seed pillage”! LOL There were tons of seeds I’d never imagine getting. Stuff I never saw before. One woman brought a pack of real Italian pomodoro tomato seeds. One brought some bean seeds she said produced like crazy last year. I brought my beloved sugar pumpkin seeds. We all got to take as much time as we wanted to select the seeds we wanted, and write down planting and growing information.

I got crazy things like Cosmic Purple carrots, some half carrots, Amish tomatoes, purple podded pole beans, green apple cukes, and Abe Lincoln tomatoes, among many others.  It’s going to be real fun watching these different seeds come up.

Homemade Food Compost Bin

I wanted to compost last year but didn’t have the proper equipment. Or so I thought. I’m learning by the seat of my pants here.

I recently read a magazine article which explained food composting and leaf+grass composting.  I thought I could throw the food on top of the grass/leaves but I was worried about stinking up the neighborhood and attracting animals.

The solution that’s going to work for me: build a compost pile for grass+leaves in the back, and have a separate food composter. When the food compost is broken down we can add it to that grass pile, or just put it into the garden directly.

In the spirit of saving money, I wanted to work with something I had already. I first started saving the compost (banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells, vegetable scraps) in an old plastic bowl in the kitchen. It quicky filled. I saw a bin-type composter in a magazine that had holes in the side for aeration.  Why couldn’t I take my rubbermaid bin and  drill some holes for air? And that’s what I did. Dumped in the food compost, add some dirt with it. Done. As it fills more I’ll add worms as I find them when it rains 🙂 or dig up some garden soil soon. Mix regularly! Not sure how long it will take the food to break down but as worms are added it goes much faster.

Our grass+leaves composter is going to be made from wooden pallets (my husband picks up free from the warehouse) and I’ll post back about that when it’s built.