Central Michigan Seed Swap

Have you ever been to a seed swap before? I have not, but I am super excited to go to my very first seed swap this coming Sunday! The swap is happening about 2 hours north of me in Midland, Michigan. This is the 3rd annual Central Michigan Seed Swap so in honor of that, here are 3 reasons why I am going to the swap.

The Seeds

Of course, the seeds. It is a seed swap. I am excited to see what I find. Hoping to see varieties I haven’t found before, especially if they are peas. I also excited to share some seeds that I grew out myself. Would be the first time I have grown seeds and shared them with someone else. One of the varietes I will be bringing is the Magnolia Blossom Hyper-tendril Snap Peas.

Magnolia Blossom Peas Harvest
Bountiful harvest of Magnolia Blossom peas.

The Speakers

Not only is this a seed swap event, there are going to be some amazing speakers there, that I can’t wait to meet. One of them is the Botanical Explorer, Joseph Simcox, who I have had the pleasure of meeting before at Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor.

Here is a list of the speakers and their topics.

Bee Keeping 101 | 11:30 AM with Karen Thurlow
Learn the basics of beekeeping in this fun and informative workshop. Karen owns Seed to Table Farm and has been providing naturally grown produce to Midland County since 2011. She learned beekeeping from her father Vern who has cared for bees for over thirty years and they currently maintain more than 60 hives throughout the county!

Hand Pollination Techniques | 12:30 PM with Pennie and Sarah Tomac
Pennie and Sarah are owners of Tomac Pumpkin Farm, located just south of Chesaning, MI. Here they specialize in growing unusual and unique squash from all over the world, some of which aren’t even available in seed catalogs! In this workshop you will learn about saving seeds from cucurbits (melon, squash, pumpkin, cucumber) and keeping them pure using hand pollination, isolation and other techniques.

Soil and How to Nurture It | 1:30 PM with Dan Draves
Dan has been growing organically since 1984 and understands the important role that healthy soil has in the garden. A Master Gardener for over thirty years, Dan is also a regular contributor for the Midland Daily News where he shares stories from his gardens and answers questions sent in by readers. Learn about maintaining healthy soil and even learn how to make Dan’s homemade potting mix for seedlings!

Worldwide Plant Diversity | 3:00 PM with Joseph Simcox
Our featured presenter this year will be the world renowned Botanical Explorer, Joseph Simcox! Joseph is a World Food Plant Ecologist and Ethnobotanist and has traveled to over 100 countries to identify the world’s food plant resources focusing on under-utilized crops and wild species. He will speaking on world wide plant diversity and his latest project “Gardens Across America.”

The Networking

This might be the most important reason I am going. I want to meet other gardeners and seed enthusiasts. The goal of the pea project in 2017 is to help people enjoy agriculture. I want people to see how fun growing your own food is. It is very rewarding to grow something yourself. You get to experience flavors you never can through a conventional grocery store. I want to share more of what others are doing in their gardens with the hope to inspire more people to get into agriculture. If you are reading this and are attending the swap I would love to meet you!

For more information on the swap, visit the official site of the 3rd Annual Central Michigan Seed Swap.