Isle of Man Seed Swap & Plant Share
Our sixth annual Seed Swap will be on Sunday, April 9th
Every year I help to organise a gardening community event here on the Isle of Man — the Seed Swap, Plant Share, and Gardeners’ Social. It’s a free event open to the public and to all gardening skill levels. The idea is to help reduce seed wastage while saving money on buying seeds. This year we’ll be hosting the event at the Laxey Sailing Club on Sunday, April 9th from 1-4pm. All are welcome and you can add it to your Facebook events here.
How it Works
There are other similar events around Britain and the world but we run ours a little differently. Instead of asking people to swap seeds with one another directly, we ask that you organise your packets, plants, sets, bulbs, and extras into the provided bins for ‘Legumes’, ‘Flowers’, ‘Herbs’, and so on. Then you browse through what’s there and take what you need. It works exceptionally well and anything leftover at the end is donated to a local charity.
If you are a beginner or have no seeds to share you’re welcome to come too. There’s a donation bucket on the table and we suggest giving 10-50p per packet of seeds if you can afford it.
Hosted by the Laxey Allotment
Another great reason we run the event is to get more people involved in our Allotment. Allotments are community vegetable gardens that are sub-divided into individual plots. Each plot is rented out on a yearly basis and in Laxey we always have space. If you’d like to know more about growing-your-own at Laxey please get in touch with me.
Fundraising through a Raffle
Another thing we do at our seed swap is waive an entry fee and instead raise funds through a raffle. We encourage visitors to bring a raffle prize to support the event but local businesses also pitch in. This year both Ballanelson Nurseries and Watson Nurseries have donated gift certificates, Mother T’s a meal-deal, Joyce Hatton a Shiatsu Massage therapy, Manx Native Trees is donating an apple tree, and I’m donating a Gardeners Skincare Set from my Lovely Greens product range. There are more prizes to be announced in the coming weeks.
The raffle is generously supported and after last year’s event, there was enough leftover for our association to buy a communal picnic bench. We hope that having this feature will cultivate even more community spirit at our allotment.
Want to organise your own Seed Swap?
If you want to go to a similar event in your own area but can’t find one, then you could organise one! I wrote an article last year on 12 tips on How to Organise a Seed Swap and they can be applied to home events with gardening friends or to larger community events like our own. The tips include ideas on getting help, finding a venue, and so on.
Would you like to keep up to date?
If you’re interested in attending the Isle of Man Seed Swap, add it to your Facebook events here.. You can also sign up to the event’s mailing list which sends out a handful of emails each year to let you know when the Seed Swap is happening. Sign up for the Isle of Man Seed Swap mailing list here.