With climate change threatening global food production – and with unexpected disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains and causing runs on supermarkets – more households are developing an interest in backyard gardening to supplement their diets and take back a measure of control over their food security. Spring and summer 2020 saw an unprecedented rise in demand for seeds, vegetable crowns, and other gardening supplies, as thousands of new amateur gardeners, confined to their homes, began looking at their backyards, rooftops, and fire escapes in a new light.
The Peekskill Sustainability Network seeks to encourage this budding reconnection to the land and food systems that support us by bringing local gardeners together at a proposed, annual seed exchange. Some benefits of a seed exchange include:
- Gardeners on a budget access seeds at no cost.
- Excess seeds get shared and planted, rather than expiring (seed viability declines each year, especially if not stored properly).
- Experienced gardeners share knowledge and advice regarding what grows well in the local climate.
- Gardeners may find and access rare or unusual seeds they otherwise wouldn’t have tried to grow.
- Growers are encouraged to save seeds in anticipation of next year’s exchange, learning a valuable skill and enhancing the area’s food security and crop diversity.
Interested in getting involved in organizing a seed exchange? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Seed Exchange” or join the conversation on the Forum.