For over 12,000 years, humans have been farming.
Today we have access to thousands of varieties of useful, life sustaining plants that exist only because farmers and gardeners have grown them, saved the seeds, and grown them again. Our favorite fruits and vegetables are the result of a long chain of seed savers. But that chain may be breaking. Over the last hundred years, advances in commercial farming, hybridization, and the corporate patenting of vegetable strains has resulted in a loss of plant diversity. Thousands of years of horticultural knowledge is disappearing. By growing your own plants and saving the seeds for next year’s planting, you are helping to mitigate our dependence on agricultural businesses, keeping old strains that are not commercially available alive, developing seed stock that is well suited to our environment, and keeping alive the heritage of plant knowledge that might be critical for future generations.
At Eisenhower, we’re adding a link to the chain with our Seed Exchange project. Participating is simple. If you need seeds, we have a few heirloom and commercial varieties available to you free of charge. In exchange, we ask that you plant the seeds and document their growth. After the harvest, save the seeds and return a portion of the seeds for another gardener to plant next season. If you already have saved seeds, we’re happy to take donations. The more seeds we have in our collection, the more community members can experience the joy of growing their own food.
Through this Seed Exchange project, we hope to foster a sense of community, self-reliance, and a culture of sharing. For more info, ask at the Answers Desk or call 708-867-2299.