Seed-saving advocate Rebecca Newburn at the Richmond Seed Lending Library.
Photo by Scott Peterson.

Step up your gardening game by getting involved in seed saving at this exciting celebration.

Spend a convivial two hours on the evening of Friday, March 16 swapping seeds and skills at the BASIL (Bay Area Seed Interchange Library) Seed Swap. Guests donate seeds or cash and take home seeds saved by gardeners around the Bay Area. Enjoy a potluck dinner as you get to know other garden enthusiasts. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’re welcome and encouraged to take part! Admission is free if you bring seeds and a dish to share, or $5–$20. No one turned away for lack of funds. Info and event RSVP: here

(If you want to get even more involved, come the following day, March 17, as the Ecology Center hosts a seed sorting pizza party from noon to 3pm. Help sort the donated seeds and take some home for your collection.)

Also happening at the March 16 seed swap, East Bay Local Seeds launches a new campaign called One Seed, One Community. This new group-grow and seed-share campaign plans to disperse and collectively grow 25,000 Painted Pony variety bush-type beans, which can be eaten fresh or dried for pantry storage. Participants will learn how to preserve local seed diversity by drying and returning saved seeds to share locally and regionally. Networking activities and classes will be offered. 

East Bay Local Seeds represents community gardeners, small-acreage farmers, and seed savers, and has the support of established seed-lending libraries in El Cerrito, Hayward, Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond, as well as the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Ecology Center. Info: minna@ecologycenter.org or 510.548.2220 x239

Read our Summer 2015 story about a surprising—and now resolved—controversy faced by seed savers.

19th Annual BASIL Seed Swap
Friday March 16, 7–9pm
Ecology Center
2530 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Learn how easy it is to save seeds from your beans, peas, lettuce, squash, and tomatoes at this free class:

Seed Saving Class
Wednesday March 28, 7-8:30pm
Richmond Public Library
Community Room

Free, but please register [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/seed-saving-class-tickets-44107431515] to receive the class handout by email.