There are some events I get invited to where I have to double check I’ve heard correctly. ‘Sorry, you want me to go to a what?’
That was possibly the reaction I had when Becca from Edible Adamsdown Community Garden first invited me to their seedling swap (and I apologise to Becca if it was). However, I can honestly say that the event is a brilliant idea and really good fun.
As many of you who read my blog regularly will know, I volunteer in Plasnewydd Community Garden in Cardiff. This is a good point in this post to shamelessly plug the new blog that we have created for the garden, and please click the link and follow us if you feel so inclined to do so. If you do take the time to read the garden blog, you will now also know that we haven’t had the greatest of starts to the growing season this year. Out of all the human errors and natural disasters that I fear may dramatically affect our food supplies, I didn’t expect ants to have such an impact. They have taken over all our raised beds, and are systematically eating everything that we plant. Which is why the seedling swap was the perfect solution to our critter problem.
The way the swap works is simple. Each person brings along surplus seedlings from their garden, they all get displayed together, and then you take other people’s seedlings that you need. Or, if you don’t have anything to swap, you can give a donation instead.
I must admit, I did feel a bit inadequate when I filled our box up ready to take to the event. All we could muster was a few strawberry plants and some trays of sweet Williams from last year that were looking a little worse for wear. I needn’t have worried, though. The sweet Williams were a huge success, especially when I told people they are perfect for filling in gaps in any garden. And we are one step closer to taking over Cardiff with Plasnewydd Garden strawberries (our strawberries have a well-known history of growing shoots and replanting themselves at an alarming speed).
And what did I get in return? Some purple sprouting broccoli (which was already so healthy I transplanted it straight into the brassicas bed), cauliflower, pak choi and a pepper. Cauliflowers because we’ve never been able to grow them at Plasnewydd for some unknown reason, and the pak choi and the pepper as a bit of an experiment for future seasons.
Josh from the Real Junk Food Project was also there to fuel everyone, and there were a lot of people for him to feed. Aside from the seedlings, it was great to catch up with people, meet other gardeners and swap tips.