Seeds, lectures and more at Olympia Seed Exchange

Staff writerMarch 12, 2014 

If there’s one packet of seeds you don’t want to show up with at a seed exchange in Olympia, it’s the dreaded calendula.

“We get them by the carload,” said Caitlin Moore with a laugh. The founder of the Olympia Seed Exchange was talking about the kinds of seeds they’d like — or in the case of calendula, the kind of seeds they don’t — for a garden seminar and seed swap Saturday at Olympia’s Timberland Library.

The three-hour gardening event features the basics for starting plants indoors — from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Moore will give an overview of stuff you need to know if you’re a first-time gardener interested in planting a vegetable garden.

“I’m helping people get a jump on spring, but even though the calendar is telling us it’s spring, our gardens are still really wet,” said Moore. Her lecture on spring planting will discuss plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, that need to be started indoors months before they can be planted outside.

“The second part is a straight up seed swap,” said Moore about the final hour of the library event. “We’re going to provide a whole bunch of seeds that are both donated, store bought seeds or they’re donated from seed companies,” said Moore, who noted that some of the seeds come from Olympia gardeners.

Attendees can bring seeds to swap — or just take as many as they want without donating seeds. There usually are plenty of seeds, said Moore.

A few guidelines:

Besides leaving the calendula at home, don’t bring anything obscure or odd — or things that don’t grow here.

It’s helpful to bring a pen, envelopes or jars and labels to mark which seeds you take home, noted Moore.

Don’t need the gardening advice given at the beginning of the session? No problem, said Moore. Just show up at around 7:15 p.m. for the seed exchange.

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270

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