You never know what you’ll find at the annual Youth Garden Project Seed Swap and Potluck hosted by the Youth Garden Project and Moab Garden Club.
On Wednesday, March 20, people are gathering to bring the seeds they’ve hand-collected from their own gardens, as well as various packaged garden seeds, to share with one another at the springtime event. The Resiliency Hub is also assisting with the Youth Garden Project Seed Swap and Potluck this year for the first time.
“Sometimes people show up with a seed that has been passed down in their family and they don’t know the name of the seed, though they know the crop it produces,” said Tricia Scott, founder of the Moab Garden Club.
There’s no cost to attend the Youth Garden Project Seed Swap and Potluck and no RSVP is required. The event is taking place at the Youth Garden Project patio, at 530 S. 400 East, starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 7 p.m.
Scott said she has seen a variety of heirlooms, including rare seeds, at seed swaps in past years, as well as perennial plants, like irises, that someone has divided and dug up to be transplanted.
“You just don’t know what’s going to show up," Scott said. "It’s a surprise."
Since 2013, the Youth Garden Project and Moab Garden Club have invited community members to come together each spring to swap seeds and stay for a potluck dinner outside on the patio.
“It’s a good way to bring the community together and see who’s gardening in Moab,” Scott said.
The seed swap typically draws 30 or so people, said Abby Meyer, a community program VISTA volunteer at the Youth Garden Project (YGP).
“Everything is laid out on the table and you can grab what you personally want,” Meyer said.
Scott encourages people to bring a baggie, paper envelope or small jar to the swap, as some people bring large containers of seeds that need to be divvied up. It’s also a good idea to bring a pen to write individual labels, she added.
The YGP is donating plenty of seeds from the community garden on its premises, including seeds saved from flowers, peppers and tomato plants, Meyer said.
When people bring seeds from their own garden, it typically means the plant has been quite successful growing in Moab, Scott said. She said she founded the Moab Garden Club about 10 years ago to encourage and support gardening in the city.
“This used to be an agricultural area. There used to be peaches and apricots grown here,” Scott said. Orchards were once a thriving hub of local business in town.
The Moab Garden Club tours local gardens on the first Tuesday evening of each month starting in April and going – depending on the weather – to October. Anywhere from five to 30 people show up for garden tours, Scott said.
“There are some amazing gardens in Moab,” she said.
Beyond the Youth Garden Project Seed Swap and Potluck, the Moab Garden Club also swaps seeds during those community garden tours. The first one is taking place on Tuesday, April 2. Some of the tours each year include a guest speaker and people who bring plants or sometimes produce to share.
"We’re an eclectic group of people, and there’s no politics, no religion," Scott said. "We’re always looking for gardens to tour. Sometimes we’ll tour more than one. Sometimes we tour a neighborhood of gardens.”
She said her goal is to get people interested in growing food.
“Flowers are important, too, for the bees," she said.