If you have seen the 2015 film The Big Short then you may remember the line quoted above. It was an off-the-cuff remark said by Brad Pitt's character, Ben Rickert, while he was discussing the impending collapse of the housing market circa 2008. I thought it was one of the most memorable lines in the movie and ever since I heard it I have been pondering the core truth of it.
Seeds contain everything a plant needs for life. They are suspended-animation capsules containing the DNA, energy source, moisture, timing mechanism, and a protective armor that safely carries the genetics from a mother plant forward into the future. They can remain viable for years, even decades or more, and can survive fire, digestion, fermentation, and even rough travel that takes them miles away from the plant that initially released them. Seeds are incredible little packages of life and humans simply could not exist very long without them.
There are seed banks located all over the world where seeds are collected, carefully documented and preserved in order to stave off extinction or to prepare for re-establishing bio-diversity in the event of a global or regional catastrophe. Scientists and science-fiction writers have long been discussing the importance of maintaining bio-diversity and robust food sources as they plan for missions to Mars or just thinking about what would happen to humanity if we were plunged into a new Ice Age. We are all only a couple of seasons away from a world without produce if it were not for preserving seeds from our crops.
Now, I am NO expert on seeds or starting plants from seed, but I do have a keen interest in getting better at gardening from the earliest stages and starting all my own plants in the not-quite-finished greenhouse I am building. This Winter I am hosting my very first seeds swap on Saturday, February 26th where I plan to have a BUNCH of seeds available to trade with other local gardeners. I am hoping to have a lot of local participation from our neighborhood garden enthusiasts! I would love it if folks from all over East Texas brought their own seeds and excitement to share with other like-minded, plant-happy weirdos to make the first annual event of it's kind for Grumpy's Garden Club a huge success. This will be the first regular meeting of our group that does NOT involve vendors, and commerce as a key feature, and growing community will be the focus of the gathering.
This seed swap is free to all who attend. No money is required to exchange seeds, tubers, bulbs, corms, cuttings, rooted-cuttings, or even potted plants. I am working on a system where we can divide our seeds and plant-starts into "units of trade" so that bartering will be the order of the day. The King's Way chapel is providing our venue and some light snacks will be freely offered to assist us in our enjoyment and conversation.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in being a part of our group and participating in the upcoming seed swap then just make a note of the time and location and show up!
No reservations are necessary and no membership is required to attend.
The Seed Swap event will be open from 11am until 2pm and it is come-&-go as your busy schedule allows. I hope to see you all there!