On Saturday, February 11th, the 3rd Annual Long Island Regional Seed Consortium’s Seed Swap will be held at the Riverhead Campus of Suffolk Community College. This year’s participants and sponsors will include Salt of the Earth Seed Company, Invincible Summer Farms, Sacred Gardens, Slow Food East End, Amagansett Food Institute, Long Island Horticultural Society, Blossom Meadow Farm, Experimental Farm Network, Green Earth Ag and Turf, Turn of the Corkscrew Books, Trudi Greissle Davidoff – Winter Sowers, The Sample Seed Shop, Seemore Gardens, Long Island Green Homes, Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus, Long Island Native Plant Initiative, Suffolk County 4-H, Perfect Earth Project, and more.
“Seeds truly are about building and celebrating community and nothing can be freer than a seed! Seeds are like people in the wise words of LIRSC founder Steph Gaylor,” shared Cheryl Frey Richards of Long Island Regional Seed Consortium. “Seeds travel and know no borders! Seeds only know how to grow and will do whatever they can to ensure that they do.”
From 12 to 4 p.m., gardeners, growers, and farmers are invited to experience demonstrations, presentations, panel discussions, information booths, and, of course, swap your seeds. As the prime season for planting quickly approaches, now’s the time to brush up on the latest techniques for saving seeds, quiz experts about anything that’s pertinent and expand your assemblage by collecting a few new variations.
“As a species we have been collecting, saving, and sowing seeds for thousands of years; the stories, the art, and the data depicting our relationship with seeds are abundant, and, like seeds, scattered around the globe,” explained Scott Chaskey, poet and farmer at Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm, one of the original Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the U.S. “As an indigenous grandmother says: ‘Seeds have spirit, but they do not have a voice. It is critical now that we raise our voices in support of seeds, and that we share them to foster and increase a resilient biodiversity.'”
Whether you’re a gardening veteran or just starting out, the Seed Swap will offer a not-to-be-missed lineup that will cover a plethora of important and interesting topics. Attendees may come with vegetable, flower or herb seeds that have not been crossed with other types, commercial excess seed from the previous year, tubers, fruit scions, and bulbs to swap.
Talks and demonstrations will include And the Wild Bee Exclaimed “We Are The Superhereos!” – Bolster Your Native Pollinators and Increase Your Harvest with Laura Klahre, founder of Blossom Meadow Farms, Breeding For Climate Resiliency with Nate Kleinman and Dusty Hinz from the Experimental Farm Network, Everything You Wanted To Know About Heirloom Vegetables with Remy Rotella Orlowski, owner of Sample Seed Shop, Soil Health For Your Garden and Fields with Joe Magazzi of Green Earth Ag and Turf, Seed Saving Demonstrations with Cheryl Frey Richards from LIRSC, and Winter Sowing Demonstration with Trudi Davidoff, founder of WinterSown Educational, while exhibits will cover The LIRSC Oral History Project, Long Island Historical Seed Catalog, Seed Saving for Kids Interactive, Heritage Grain Conservancy and more.
“At LIRSC, we strive to be a strong seed community determined to grow into our greatest potential…just like a seed. We wouldn’t be able to grow without a community to plant us, water us and give us sun,” added Frey Richards. “YOU are that community. Our annual seed swap is a celebration of all those who wish to see seeds prosper. We are not just celebrating seed and community, we are honoring potential and resilience. We extend our hand to all those who wish the same.”
Admission to the 3rd Annual Long Island Regional Seed Consortium’s Seed Swap is free.
Suffolk Community College is located at 121 Speonk-Riverhead Road in Riverhead. For more information, visit www.lirsc.org.