Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Great Seed Giveaway

Back in November when I wrote a blog post offering free seed I didn't know what to expect.
Would I be be inundated with requests for seed, or would my offer fall on deaf ears?
I was a bit concerned.
Years ago I read an article about a fellow in Pennsylvania who was giving away tomato seed.  The seed was simply called Potato Leaf.  Of course I sent for it, and the deal was that if you requested the seed, you also had to save some and send it back to the fellow, so he could continue his mail outs. This I did too.
As apparently did hundreds of thousands of people.  Pretty interesting.
Of course this didn't parallel my experience at all.  But I did give away hundreds of packets and I thank those of you who sent along little notes about your gardens. I enjoyed reading them very much.
I heard from Paula, in Dorchester who calls herself " a reluctant gardener", but has a growing interest in growing her own food and heirlooms.
There was Wendy in Ridgeway, who in 2010 beat her previous gardens' record by producing more than 1 tomato (yay!) AND sent me a funny Christmas card!
Julian in Montreal with his balcony garden.  I tried to carefully select that seed.
I really enjoyed the  letter from Bronwen in Toronto.  Thanks for writing! Bronwen is rather new to gardening, but like me, it sounds like she could lose herself in it.  She's a social worker but is feeling the urge to change and is studying agriculture.  How wonderful.
Seed also went to St Catharines, many small towns in Ontario I'd never heard of (sorry), British Columbia and the U.S.
One of my most intriguing requests came early on, and came by way of a phone call.  It was from Margaret in Toronto who works with the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre. Margaret followed up with an email The email described the work of the theatre:
"I am writing on behalf of the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (LKTYP, formerly Young People’s Theatre,  For 45 years, LKTYP has been a charitable organization dedicated to child development through theatre. Serving 70,000 children and their families annually, LKTYP is a versatile centre for learning through the arts offering weekend performances for family audiences, integrated weekday school programs for students, scheduled workshops for teachers and a year-round drama school."
The Theatre was having a fundraiser in late November and had heard about my offer.  They were planning a day of fun events, and thought that a seed planting activity would be something just a little bit different. They needed a fair bit of seed, in fact hundreds of packets.  I was a little reluctant, as I didn't want my seed to run out in case more requests came along.
As it turned out of course the seed I donated was for the very special Jolly Jester Marigold.  The same seed I had donated for Davids' funeral several months earlier (See blog post "The Power of Seed"). 
I told Margaret this story, and I know the donation was a lot more meaningful.  Seed is pretty amazing.
The event was a success and a good connection was made.  I look forward to going to see a performance at the theatre and of Margaret's visit to Wellandport when she's in Niagara.
And still there was seed left!  But one email has changed all that.
Now the rest of the seed is winging it's way to-believe it or not-Las Vegas!  Las Vegas is tough to garden in, but Leslie, an acquaintance and fellow Organic Garden Magazine test gardener is up to the challenge. 
She makes desert gardening look easy, and is heavily involved with the Tonopah Community Gardens.  These consist of 50 raised beds and 4 raised rows that are each 250 feet long.  
Few folks in Las Vegas grow food because of the desert conditions.  Some days it isn't even possible to go outside because of the heat. But Leslie is all about changing that.  I'm pretty happy to be able to help her out with my seed.
So that's it!  2010 seed is distributed and the 2011 listing is up on my website. Finally.
Thanks for writing everyone....glad to have made the connections!

No comments: