Our BiAnnual Seed Exchange will be held this year at the Saturday Organic Market, the “Randi Nama Feria Agroecologico, at the market plaza adjacent to the bus terminal on September 30, 8-12:30 am.
This event is open to everyone who wants to grow organic food!! Come and share seeds you have grown. Or come and benefit from the seeds others have grown. Organic Market Vendors and anyone who wants to participate, will bring organic seeds,and can choose to sell or exchange or give them away. If you want to sell seeds, we suggest $1. or $2. packages. There will be a space in the middle of the plaza for anyone who wants to display their seeds. Bring a table if you can, or we may just lay our seeds out on the ground for display. It is good to come with a partner, so one can tend your own seeds and negotiate trades, and the other can move about, seeking out desired seeds.
We’ll have music, and between 9:30-11 will have a microphone set up for people to share their experience and advice about the seeds they are bringing. Let me know if you can help with translating for this–we want to share cross-culturally. “Seeds” will also include plant starts, root stock, etc.
This is one of the best places to collect locally adapted organic seeds–from local gardening enthusiasts, both Ecuadorean and from the “international community” that have been growing them out and adapting them. We have been doing this bi-annually for about 4 years now. It is the place to be if you want to expand your locally-adapted varieties! Lots of knowledge to be shared, and fun to be had!
It is an option to donate proceeds from the sale of seeds to the Organic Market. The Organic Market benefits the community in many ways–by providing a healthy alternative to chemically toxin-laden produce, by supporting farmers to transition from conventional to organic growing with workshops, comraderie and regular mingas(traditional work parties). The Randi Nama market, which means “reciprocity” or “ayni” in Quechua engages in ongoing political activism to increase awareness of the importance of eating organic, supporting food sovereignty and working to maintain the ban against GMOs. Also, it is one of the most culturally integrated scenarios.
A couple of important points about seed saving here: Seeds do not store well in this climate. They should be planted about 6 mo – 1 year after harvest. The best “seed bank” in this climate is a living seed bank–that is, keeping them alive by growing them–which we are all engaged in together with these Seed Exchanges.
This is a great way to learn from each other.
Wear YOUR favorite gardening hat, and let’s have a real good time!
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