IUP Seeds Club Planning Second Annual Seed Swap Project, Open to Community

Posted on 11/12/2015 3:28:23 PM

An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student organization is looking for seeds and stories.

The Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) Club of IUP, a student-organized group, will host the second annual Community Seed Swap on November 14 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Watch a video about the Seed Swap on the SEEDS Club web page.

The event, free and open to the community, will be held in the Zink Hall gymnasium A.

The event is part of a larger project to add to the Northern Appalachian Seed Bank. Persons attending are encouraged to bring seeds and stories about the seeds. All seeds will be provided free for exchange.

The event is family-friendly, with a special children’s area complete with seed bombs, story time and hands-on garden-related projects.

No genetically modified organism (GMO) or hybrid seeds or old seeds (past expiration date) should be brought for exchange. Heirloom seeds are encouraged.

At 2:00 p.m., Dr. Ed Donley, IUP professor of mathematics, will present “Growing Your Own Wildflowers.”

The presentation will discuss the benefits of gardening with native plants and the importance of maintaining heirloom varieties of food crops and ornamental flowers (seed swaps are a great way to acquire new wildflower seeds and heirloom garden seeds). He will describe the techniques required to grow native plants from seeds, based on his experience in transforming his Indiana County property to a native plant habitat.

Persons wishing to share or trade seeds are asked to provide the following information about each type of seed: common name, purity of seed, year of harvest, growth habit (spacing, depth, height),, number of shares being offered and stories that go along with the seeds. Seeds should be brought in a bulk package with a label and with this information.

Tables will be set up with seeds divided by vegetable, fruit or plant; volunteers will be stationed at each table to oversee the distribution of seeds and answer questions.

The program was started by Gretchen McCormick, a May 2015 ecology, conservation and environmental biology graduate from Butler, the first organizer of the Seed Swap. The Seed Swap was funded by an IUP Emerging Student Leader Grant.

In addition to the IUP Seeds Club, the other program coordinator for the Seed Swap is the Center for Northern Appalachian Studies.

The Seed Swap is made possible by the support of the Department of Biology, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the Department of Anthropology, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

For more information persons should contact the SEEDS club faculty advisor Dr. Ellen Yerger,  ellen.yerger@iup.edu  or to volunteer at the event, persons should contact student organizers Sam Soto  s.a.soto@iup.edu or Kris Kurelja  k.l.kurelja@iup.edu. Soto is a biology major in the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology track, and Kurelja is a biology education major.