Tag Archives: seed saving

New Flower Seed!

CSLL May LGT

We had a fabulous ‘Lettuce Get Together’ yesterday. Thank you CSLL volunteers, once again, for all your help keeping our inventory up to date!

We’ve added some gorgeous new flower varieties to the mix this month! Come on in and check ’em out!

  • Foxglove -Faerie Queen
  • Zinnia -Moulin Rouge
  • Amaranth -Elephant Head
  • Sunflower -Tall Yellow, Mammoth and Junior
  • Calendula -Flashback
  • Cosmos -Sunshine
  • Blue Fax -CA native
  • CA Poppy -Copper Pot and local
  • Lovage

You can see the list of all CSLL’s Flowers/Herbs and Other Seed or view our entire inventory of hundreds of packs of seed for all your garden needs. Happy growing!

 


The Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) is a partnership program with the Butte County Library, GRUB Education Program and Earthshed Solutions.

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New Tomato Varieties

CSLL April LGT

Our warm season seed inventory grew at our last ‘Lettuce Get Together’ thanks to volunteers! We have many new varieties of TOMATOES and new flowers and herbs as well.

TOMATO VARIETIES

  • Tigerella
  • Pink Ponderosa
  • Pink Caspian
  • Jubilee
  • Beefsteak
  • Stupice
  • Black Krim
  • Brandywine OTV
  • Chadwick’s Cherry
  • Marvel Stripe

We have both determinant and indeterminate varieties to choose from; each packet tells you which is which. What does that mean?

There are two main growth habits for tomatoes (from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange):

Determinate varieties grow to a certain height (usually 2-3ft) then stop growing and mature all of the fruit in a short period of time.  Many paste tomatoes are determinate. These varieties are great for canning and well suited to growing in short or split season areas

Indeterminate tomatoes keep growing, flowering and setting fruit until stopped by frost, disease, or really bad weather. Most Cherry and large beefsteak tomatoes are indeterminate, They need to be caged or staked with a really sturdy support.  Most really large heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate. These varieties are great if you have plenty of space, warm summer temperatures, and a long enough growing season.

What herb goes fantastic with tomato? BASIL! And we have several varieties to choose from.

BASIL VARIETIES

  • Dark Opal Purple
  • Genovese
  • Italian Pesto
  • Mammoth
  • Profuma di Genova
  • Queenette Thai basil

Now all you’ll need is a good sourdough baguette and some quality olive oil and you’re in for a real treat!


Check out the latest seed inventory pages for the full breakdown of what Chico Seed Lending Library has for you to borrow, grow out, harvest and return!

COOL SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

WARM SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

FLOWERS/HERBS AND OTHER SEED

tomato banner only

New Cool Season Seed

 

CSLL Feb LGT.2

Our cool season seed inventory grew at our last ‘Lettuce Get Together’ thanks to volunteers! We have many new varieties including shelling peas, snow peas, bulbing fennel, and collards.

For the beginning seed saver:

  • Snap Pea
  • Snow Pea
  • Shelling Pea
  • Lettuce

For the intermediate seed saver:

  • Spinach
  • Beet
  • Chard
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Bulbing Fennel

And for the expert seed saver:

  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Radish
  • Collards
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Bok Choy
  • Arugula

Keep in mind this is just the cool season seed. We’ve added more herbs and wildflowers like Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro and CA Poppy. We also added just a few warm season seed like Sorghum and Eggplant but keep an eye on the list, we’ll be adding many more warm season seed in the months to come.

Check out the latest seed inventory pages for the full breakdown of what Chico Seed Lending Library has for you to borrow, grow out, harvest and return!

COOL SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

WARM SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

FLOWERS/HERBS AND OTHER SEED

Flower-Herb

Seed Starting Tips -Spring

2017-03-20 11.29.05

If you attended the 9th Annual Seed Swap you now have loads of seeds for your gardens. In this post we’ll give you some basic vegetable and herb seed starting tips to help you on your way to a bountiful garden.

This is last opportunity to plant some cool season crops! Many cool season crops are planted in late summer or early fall for harvest over winter and spring. However there are some vegetables that can be planted in early spring if they are fast maturing. Cool season crops are those that grow best and produce the best quality when the average temperatures are 55°F to 75°F and are usually tolerant of slight frosts.

Warm temperatures will force some crops to “bolt” which means it will go into flower mode rather than leaf/stem growing mode. And for things like Broccoli where we eat the immature flowers this is not good if the flowers mature faster than we can harvest and enjoy them!

Look for information on the seed packet or online to see how long each variety takes to reach maturity and plant those that will be ready for harvest within 60 days or less and/or are slow bolting varieties. We’ve marked crops with an * to note which you should ensure are fast maturing.

Some Summer crops can be started indoors now or in a sheltered area with heat applied to prevent the seed from rotting. Summer crops require heat and while crops in the Tomato family can take 1-2 months until transplanting size squashes, melons and beans only take a couple of weeks so shouldn’t be started indoors until mid to late March. Many herbs can also be directly sowed in the garden for harvest and enjoyment later in the season.

Seed to start indoors or in a warm sheltered area:

  • Artichoke
  • *Broccoli
  • *Cabbage
  • *Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • *Collards
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leek
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes

Seed to direct sow/plant outdoors (all but root crops can be started indoors if desired):

  • Asian Greens (bok choy etc.)
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Chives
  • Fenugreek
  • Lettuce
  • Mache
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Turnip
  • Borage
  • Calendula
  • Cilantro
  • Clover
  • Dill
  • Lemon Balm
  • Parsley

NOTE:  These are recommendations pooled from successful farmers and gardeners according to our “typical” seasons. Use this information as a good starting place but don’t interpret it as absolutely perfect for every location. Some years may vary and some yards have unique microclimates so don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you and your gardens.

Many thanks to Sherri Scott, CSLL seed librarian and Grub Grown Nursery owner, for her wisdom in compiling these seed starting resources.

20170425_115550

Gift Baskets at the Seed Swap!

Gift Baskets-edited

GARDEN O’DELIGHT fundraising gift baskets will be available for suggested donation at the 9th Annual Seed Swap! The seed swap is Saturday, February 3rd at the Trinity Church in downtown Chico from 12-3pm.

ALL proceeds will help fund the 10th Annual Seed Swap and Chico Seed Lending Library! Each basket has a specific theme based on the items inside -from Trees to Seeds to Kids. See below for what is inside each basket.

HUGE thanks to the local businesses who donated items: Magnolia Gift & Garden, Hodges Nursery, The Plant Barn, Floral Native Nursery, Grub Grown Nursery, Fanno Saw Works, The Bookstore, Butte County Good Food Network and more!

All donations above fair market value (FVM) are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, Earthshed Solutions, a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations can be made by credit card or cash at the event. Gift basket suggested donation prices are based on fair market value of the items and range between $25-100 depending on the basket of choice and your generosity.

Gift Basket Details

#1 TREES

(FVM $83.20, Suggested $70-90)

  • $25 Magnolia Gift & Garden gift certificate
  • 7 ½” Hand Pruners
  • 7” Folding Pruning Saw
  • Shear & Scissor Sharpener
  • Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant tags

#2 HERBAL

(FVM $41.65, Suggested $25-45)

  • $10 Grub Grown Nursery gift certificate
  • 2 -4″ potted Herb Plants
  • Dried Herb Tea
  • Garden Gloves
  • Bulb Planter
  • Container Herb Seed from Renee’s Garden
  • 11 Seed Starting Pots
  • 10 Plant Tags

#3 FLOWERS

(FVM $44.23, Suggested $30-50)

  • 1 gallon Flowering Perennial from Hodge’s Nursery
  • Book: 1001 Questions Answered About Flowers by Norman Taylor
  • Garden Gloves
  • Rainbow CA Poppy seed from Renee’s Garden
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)
  • Wooden Handle Trowel
  • 10 Plant Tags

#4 WILDLIFE

(FVM $59.85, Suggested $45-65)

  • Book: Why We Garden, Cultivating a Sense of Place by Jim Nollman
  • 1 gallon Flowering Perennial from Hodge’s Nursery
  • Bird Feeder
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Garden Gloves
  • Garden Trowel
  • Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden seed from Renee’s Garden
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)

#5 FUNGI

(FVM $68.24, Suggested $50-70)

  • $10 Grub Grown Nursery gift certificate
  • Mushroom Garden Art
  • Mycorrhizae package
  • Mycelium: Wine Cap Stropharia (Stropharia rugoso-annulata)
  • Wooden Handle Garden Spade
  • Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant Tags

#6 SEEDS

(FVM $62.34, Suggested $45-65)

  • Book: Grow, Cook, Eat: A Food Lover’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening by Willi Galloway
  • Three Sisters & Cover Crop seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Seed Storage Envelopes & Labels
  • 12 Seed Starting Pots
  • 2 pair Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Garden Trowel
  • String Dispenser
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)

#7 GARDEN

(FVM $85.90, Suggested $70-90)

  • $25 Floral Native Nursery gift certificate
  • Burlap Pot Cover
  • Container Kitchen Garden seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Apron
  • Garden Gloves
  • Garden Trowel
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Seed Balls (with wildflower, pollinator and native grass seed)

#8 GARDEN

(FVM $74.17, Suggested $55-75)

  • $20 Plant Barn gift certificate
  • Light Snipper/Pruners (bypass blade)
  • Cat Treat Greens seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Wooden Handle Garden Fork
  • Plant Hanger
  • Garden Gloves
  • 10 Plant Tags
  • Magnolia Gift & Garden T-shirt

#9 KIDS

(FVM $55.37, Suggested $40-60)

  • $10 Grub Grown Nursery gift certificate
  • Garden Bag with Kid-Size Trowel, Fork & Spade
  • Small & Large Kids Handmade Aprons
  • Garden Gloves for Kids

#10 KIDS

(FVM $59.80, Suggested $45-65)

  • Book: Grow Your Own for Kids by Chris Collins & Lia Leendertz
  • Kids Watering Can
  • Small & Large Kids Handmade Aprons
  • Rainbow Kitchen Garden seed mix from Renee’s Garden
  • Garden Gloves for Kids

CSLLbaskets-edit

For More Information

9th Annual Seed Swap

FB header'18

The Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) is hosting the 9th Annual Seed Swap, a community event in celebration of seed, seed saving and the joy of the Spring gardening season. This annual exchange of seed will take place on Saturday, February 3rd , 2018 from 12-3pm at the Trinity United Methodist Church (285 E 5th St) in downtown Chico.

Again in 2018, we will open up the seed swap at 11:30AM for people who have home-grown seed & seed stories to share, face to face, with local seed savers.

homegrownseedshare
Home Grown Seed Share 2017

The Seed Swap is a FREE EVENT and will include the open exchange of seed as well as plants, bulbs, and cuttings, and scion wood in a ‘potluck’ style setting. There will be food and drinks for sale, gift baskets for a CSLL fundraiser, plants and seed for sale in addition to local non-profits, music, and fun for all ages.

For 9 years…

Chico’s Annual Seed Swap events have been a great way to bring our community together to share seed, plants, and gardening ideas.  In addition to the traditional exchange of seed there will be the opportunity for participants to exchange plants and scion wood too. For those who may not know, scion wood is the top section of a healthy tree branch, typically a fruit tree, which has been cut in order to be grafted onto a different tree or root stock. Exchanging locally adapted fruit trees, in particular, is a huge asset to local food security.

There will be local vendors selling plants, seeds and fruits/vegetables. Delicious food will be for sale, generously donated by Chico Natural Foods Cooperative. Drinks will be for sale by CSLL -like hot apple cider, coffee and various teas. There will also be unique gift baskets filled with seed, garden items and local foods available as a fundraiser to support the Seed Swap and Chico Seed Lending Library.

basket fundraiser
Fundraising Gift Baskets 2017

How the Seed Swap Works

The seed exchange itself functions in the same manner as a community potluck: there will be more than 8 tables for seed each labeled with a different type, such as warm and cool season vegetables, flowers, native plants, herbs and more.  Participants place their clearly labeled bulk or packaged seed on the appropriate table then continue around to the other tables to gather seed that others have brought.  Often whole packets of seed are left on the tables, but opening them and taking only what you need and sharing the rest is in the nature of the Seed Swap.

one seed = one plant

We ask everyone who participates in the Seed Swap to remember that 1 seed = 1 plant. Please ensure you do not take more than you need. Over the years we’ve seen how popular this event is in our community and we’ve also seen people taking boxes of seed away with them. This type of participation only detracts from the purpose of the seed swap… which is to share seed with everyone.

Providing seed to share is not required but please bring your own pen and envelopes or other containers to store your new seed -it’s a real help to everyone. The exchange of root divisions, cuttings, plants, scion wood, and garden harvests is also something people enjoy doing at the Seed Swap. This annual community event is always free and a fun way to celebrate the approaching Spring season for all members of our community.


Volunteer

You can Volunteer to help with the Seed Swap by signing up to work a shift or two such as event set up or helping serve food. Signing up to volunteer is simple and done online at the Seed Swap volunteer signup website: www.volunteersignup.org/WPDR3. Volunteers are greatly appreciated and receive a bonus for their help.

volunnteer online signup


Seed Swap Hosts and Sponsors

The Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL), Earthshed Solutions and the GRUB Education Program have hosted the annual Seed Swaps since its inception 9 years ago. The Trinity United Methodist Church is generously providing the location for this event and Chico Natural Foods Cooperative, Redwood Seed and Sustainable Seed Co. are sponsoring the 9th Annual Seed Swap.

Would your business or organization like to SPONSOR the 9th Annual Seed Swap? Contact us at info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org. You will receive promotion in all of our marketing of the Seed Swap as well as a booth space at the event.

hf-seed-swap-9
Donations keep the   Seed Swaps going strong…

The Annual Seed Swap and the Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) are fiscally sponsored by Earthshed Solutions, a 501(c)(3) public charity. If you wish to make a tax-deductable donation to help keep the Seed Swap going strong you can do this online or contact us at info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org.

5,357 Packs of Seed!

CSLL Seed Borrowing chart image 2014-2017FIVE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED FIFTY SEVEN! That’s how many seed packs our community has borrowed from Chico Seed Lending Library over the last 3.7 years. There have been over 1,600 seed packets borrowed in 2017 alone -AND we have not finished recording the year!

This is hundreds of thousands of individual seed being planted in our community!

We keep track of this information by taking seed inventory each month (with the exception of a few months) in order to gauge the success of the seed library overall as well as to see what kind of trends in borrowing occur over the course of the year and what types of seed people seem most interested in borrowing.

CSLL borrowing by month 2014-2017

The above graph illustrates seed borrowing of all types of seed per month (with the exception of a few months each year and September through December of this year). The trends have changed somewhat over the years. In 2014 March and May were prime borrowing months yet in 2016 April and June were the months most seed was borrowed. And in 2017 March and August were the best borrowing months. It’s fascinating to see what the trends tells us and speculate on the reasons why…

Warm Season 2014-17

Cool Season 2014-17

FHM 2014-17The 3 graphs above illustrate each type of seed we have in our collection and the borrowing trends over the last 3.7 years. We categorize types by Cool Season, Warm Season and Flowers/Herbs/Medicinals (which also include CA native seed). This helps us see the overall trend in seed type people borrow most. It’s clear that, for an as yet unknown reason, people are borrowing Cool Season seed less than in the last few years. But Warm Season and F/H/M seed are on an obvious upward borrowing trend.

While this data is not perfect it does help CSLL seed librarians, who oversee the library’s seed stock, know what type of seed are of most use to our community -which then helps us ensure we have plenty available for borrowing.

We are still in the process of collecting data on Returned seed. If you have seed you have borrowed and wish to return it to CSLL please make sure to follow the seed protocol we have in place and ensure you give your seed to the Chico Library reference desk staff so we can keep track efficiently and also provide you with a huge Thank You!

seed thanks

 

 

Seed Inventory Update!

5-15-2017 (2)
8 varieties of Bush Bean, 5 varieties of Pole Bean, Yardlong, Cow Pea, and Edamame!

Chico Seed Lending Library now has more than 23 varieties of Beans for your growing, eating and seed saving pleasure! ALL beans are ‘Beginner’ so a very easy type from which to save seed. Please consider growing out some of these varieties and returning them to CSLL!

Simply allow some of the beans to dry in their pods on the plants before collecting, but gather them before they shatter. Spread the collected pods on a tarp and gently step or rub the pods together to separate the pod from the seed. Blow the chaff away using the wind or a fan and collect the seed. Here is a video from Sow True Seed which shows you how. Do ensure the seeds are completely dry before storing in an airtight container. Then follow the steps on our seed donation page and bring some back to CSLL!

Family Common Name Scientific Name Variety Qty
Fabaceae Yardlong Bean Vigna unguiculata Thai Suranaree 10
Fabaceae Tepary Bean Phaseolus acutifolius var. latifolius Mitla Black 14
Fabaceae Tepary Bean Phaseolus acutifolius var. latifolius Gold 8
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Rolande 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Provider 14
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Kentucky Wonder -bush 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Black Turtle 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Royalty Purple 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Harvester 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Nickel Filet 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris French Filet 14
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris French Marcotte 12
Fabaceae French Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Roc d’or 9
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris German Pole Bean 12
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Blue Lake 12
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Mama’s Cannellini 11
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Old Homestead 13
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Kentucky Wonder -pole 12
Fabaceae Runner Bean Phaseolus coccineus White Emergo 3
Fabaceae Cowpea Phaseolus unguiculata California blackeye 10
Fabaceae Lima Bean Phaseolus lunatus Henderson’s Baby 1
Fabaceae Soybean Glycine max Surge 1
Fabaceae Soybean Glycine max Edamame 10

More than 300 seed packs were added to our inventory at our monthly ‘Lettuce Get Together‘ yesterday, thanks to volunteers who help us keep our inventory strong! Check out the full CSLL seed inventory for the list of all seed we have available for you to borrow.

Since January of this year CSLL members have borrowed more than 1000 seed packs, which is almost double what was borrowed in all of last year! We now ask that members also return some seed so we can locally adapt this seed to our bioregion! We have helpful information on Donating and Returning Seed but feel free to contact us if you need additional information to info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org!

beans

 

3,663 Seed Packs!

csll-seed-borrowing-chart-image-2014-2016

THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED SIXTY THREE! That’s how many seed packets our community has borrowed from Chico Seed Lending Library over the last 3 years. There was 1,500 seed packets borrowed in 2016 alone!

We keep track of this information by taking seed inventory each month (with the exception of only a few months) in order to gauge the success of the seed library overall as well as to see what kind of trends in borrowing occur over the course of the year and what types of seed people seem most interested in borrowing.

borrowing-by-month-2014-16

Above is a graph which illustrates seed borrowing of all types of seed per month. It’s clear that April is THE month people are most engaged in the seed library… which makes sense as this is a prime gardening month. The soil is warm so seed germinates easily and the warming weather allows plants to grow quickly.

warm-season-by-month-2014-16

cool-season-by-month-2014-16

fhm-by-month-2014-16

Above are 3 graphs which illustrates each type of seed and the borrowing trends over the last 3 years. We categorize types by Cool Season, Warm Season and Flowers/Herbs/Medicinals (which also include CA native seed). This helps us see what types people are borrowing overall in certain months of the year.

This data is not perfect but does help CSLL seed librarians, who oversee the library’s seed stock, know when and what type of seed are of most use to our community which then helps to ensure we have plenty available for borrowing.

This year we will begin collecting data on seed that is Returned to the seed library as well as donations made to CSLL. If you have seed you have borrowed and wish to return some of that seed please make sure to follow the seed protocol we have in place and ensure you give your seed to the Chico Library reference desk staff so we can keep track efficiently and also provide you with a huge Thank You!

We hope our community is enjoying CSLL and we wish you all a great gardening year!

8th Annual Seed Swap

fb-header-2

The Chico Seed Lending Library is hosting the 8th Annual Seed Swap, a community event in celebration of seed, seed saving and the joy of the approaching gardening season. This annual exchange of seed will take place on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 from 12-3pm at the Trinity United Methodist Church (285 E 5th St) in downtown Chico.

New this year, we will open up the seed swap at 11:30AM for people who have home-grown seed & seed stories to share, face to face, with local seed savers.

7th-annual-seed-swap-2016-c

The Seed Swap is a free event and will include the open exchange of seed as well as plants, bulbs, and cuttings, and scion wood in a ‘potluck’ style setting. There will also be vendors with food, drinks, seed, and plants for sale in addition to local non-profits, music, and fun for all ages.

For over 7 years Chico’s Annual Seed Swap events have been a great way to bring our community together to share seed, garden ideas and farming information.  In addition to the traditional exchange of seed there will be the opportunity for participants to exchange plants and scion wood too. For those who may not know, scion wood is the top section of a healthy tree branch, typically a fruit tree, which has been cut in order to be grafted onto a different tree or root stock. Exchanging locally adapted fruit trees, in particular, is a huge asset to local food security.

The Seed Swap will also have local vendors selling plants, seeds, vegetables and other garden related items. Delicious food and drinks will be for sale, generously donated by Chico Natural Foods Cooperative. There will also be community non-profits and local groups sharing information about seed saving, gardening, agriculture, and environmental topics.

how-it-works

How it the Seed Swap Works: The seed exchange itself functions in the same manner as a community potluck: there will be more than 8 tables for seed each labeled with a different type, such as warm and cool season vegetables, flowers, native plants, herbs and more.  Participants place their clearly labeled bulk or packaged seed on the appropriate table then continue around to the other tables to gather seed that others have brought.  Often whole packets of seed are left on the tables, but opening them and taking only what you need and sharing the rest is in the nature of the Seed Swap.

Providing seed to share is not required but bringing your own pen and envelopes or other containers to store your new seed is a real help to everyone. The exchange of root divisions, cuttings, plants, scion wood, and garden harvests is also something people enjoy doing at the Seed Swap. This annual community event is always free and a fun way to celebrate the approaching Spring season for all members of our community.

You can Volunteer to help with the Seed Swap by signing up to work a shift or two such as set up or helping serve food. Signing up to volunteer is simple and done online at the Seed Swap iVolunteer website: http://seedvolunteer.ivolunteer.com/8thannualseedswap. Volunteers are greatly appreciated and receive a bonus for their help.

Seed Swap Hosts and Sponsors Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL), Earthshed Solutions and the GRUB Education Program have hosted the annual Seed Swaps since its inception 8 years ago. The Trinity United Methodist Church is generously providing the location for this event and Chico Natural Foods Cooperative and Redwood Seed are both sponsoring the 8th Annual Seed Swap.