Starting Lily’s Farm: Swapping Seeds

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Getting (sort of) #organized for the #lirsc #seedswap #springiscoming

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The seeds I plan to plant this season are safely stored in a bright green plastic tote, keeping cool on my porch. Inside, multiples of the same packet are rubber banded or binder clipped together. Tupperware containers keep the seeds grouped together by type:  herbs, edible flowers, greens, etc. I am a Virgo and former librarian: I like to be organized.

I am a Virgo and former librarian: I like to be organized.

A few weeks back I went to the Long Island Regional Seed Consortium’s annual seed swap. Farmer Steph Gaylor of Invincible Summer Farms and Salt of the Earth Seed Company gave a great talk on how to start saving your own seeds, which inspired me, because she talked honestly about her mistakes and learning curve. I saved some seeds last season, but I’d like to do even more this year.

At the swap, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I brought quite a few of my packet multiples from last season (I was way too ambitious with my seed ordering) and came away with some things I needed (cut flower seeds) and quite a few I didn’t (wild chard and beach plum spring to mind).

Read previous dispatches from Starting Lily’s Farm.

I have a thing for odd vegetables. It may have started when I worked at Latham’s and was first introduced to kohlrabi. Or when the Greek women would stop by the Orient farm stand to harvest dandelion greens for free. I loved explaining to city folks what was what and feeling superior. (I was a teenager.) So at the seed swap, I couldn’t resist blowing my (nonexistent) seed budget and spending a whole $12 on more weird seeds, including the Long Island cheese pumpkin. I don’t think I’ve ever had one, but I’ve always loved the Long Island cheese pumpkin, mostly for its name.  But if I successfully grow one, I’ll definitely try it.

I’m working on my crop plan spreadsheet, but I can’t wait to get off my computer and get my hands dirty. I’m looking forward to lots of hibiscus, orach, scorzonera, parsley root, fenugreek and loofah in my future!