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Seed Swap 2016: Now Watch Them Grow

7th Annual Peterson Garden Project Seed Swap

For us, nothing says spring quite like our Annual Seed Swap. We get positively giddy selecting seeds for our garden every year. It’s a reminder that we’ve survived winter and it’s almost time to get our hands dirty. Sharing that gardening excitement with more than 100 other gardeners feels like an absolute party, as you can see in these photos from Sunday’s swap.

7th Annual Peterson Garden Project Seed Swap at Broadway Armory

More than 100 gardeners convened in the 2nd Floor Ballroom at Broadway Armory for the 7th Annual Peterson Garden Project Seed Swap. The long table in the ballroom was lined with a bevy of seeds organized by type – leafy greens, tomatoes, root vegetables. A gardener could plan their entire plot from the day’s offerings. (Did we mention this was a free event?)

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Along with packaged seeds of every variety, there were also a number of seeds sourced from local gardens. Woody and Kate from Global Garden and Yvonne from HelloHoward all brought seeds from their gardens for the swap. Breanne, our Seed Sowing Workshop instructor, helped Woody, Kate and Yvonne prep their seeds at the seed cleaning station. Woody and Kate’s mammoth melting snow peas are sure to pop up in a few gardens this season. And the marshmallow seeds, an herbaceous perennial native to Europe, will be useful in some gardener’s herbal medicine later this year.

Breanne has another Seed Sowing Workshop coming up on March 30 at 7pm. Register for the workshop and join us to talk about seed-starting dates, sanitation, best seed-starting mixes, navigating the information on a seed packet and why wind or a fan is important for young plants.

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Once the tables were lined with packets and envelopes, gardeners set to work selecting their seeds. Gardeners were asked to place a few seeds in the provided envelopes, as demonstrated by super volunteer Chelsea Denault in the photo above. This gives gardeners a chance to sample a few different varieties of seeds. After all, half the fun of gardening is experimenting!

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Even some of our smallest gardeners got in on the swap. Who says kids don’t like their green leafy vegetables?

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We had such a great time at the Seed Swap that we can’t wait to get out in the gardens this year. Peterson Garden Project remains very active over the winter months thanks to our Community Cooking School, but nothing beats being in the gardens. Fortunately, opening day of the gardens is around the corner.

If you haven’t reserved your plot from 2016, there’s still time. We have openings at Hello!Howard, Land on Lincoln and NEIU. Register for your garden plot today.

7th Annual Peterson Garden Project Seed Swap at Broadway Armory Chicago

We wouldn’t be able to host events like this if not for the dedication of our volunteers. From our official greeter, Barb Kirchner (above) to all the other volunteers (Chelsea Denault, Ashley Luciani, Dawn Mayfield, Kelly McGowan, Woody Haynes, Yvonne White-Morey, Cindy Anderson, and Ellen Youniss), we thank you for your enthusiasm and willingness to lend a hand.

And if you, dear reader, would like to volunteer at Peterson Garden Project, we’d love to have you. From helping manage the gardens to performing music at events, we have a lot of opportunities to put your talents to work at PGP. Get involved today