Seed Exchange Recollection

Guest Post by Kristen Menichelli

I just wanted to send you a quick email to say THANK YOU for once again hosting the seed exchange this year, and to tell you how much I value it. In my day job, I work for a children's theatre in production so I don't see the sun a lot. Gardening for me started 3 years ago when I moved from an apartment to a small rowhouse in N.E. D.C., and became quickly obsessed with growing anything edible in my (still urban) backyard. Of course, being in my early twenties, I also became quickly obsessed with learning everything about my new hobby from books, internet forums, and listservs.

One of my early discoveries was your magazine and subsequent blog and listserv. Both have provided such clear and useful information that I knew I had to go to the seed exchange last year. My experience was so fantastic then that this year I returned, bringing 5 of my friends with me! I found the experience once again to be rewarding both mentally and in more physical seeds. While I would have preferred a more practical "Fundamentals of tomato growing in our region" type of workshop, the heirloom tomato talk was still inspiring and entertaining, especially the questions at the end and the blight prevention tips. The same goes for Linna's class. Some great overall tips and tricks I hadn't considered before. As usual, the swap was a ton of fun! I got many of the seeds I was hoping to find, and ended up doing mini-swaps after with many people who wanted those artichoke seeds! I even won that last container of critter-ridder type stuff and swapped it with the woman who had won the book on vegetable garden problems, since she has more pests of that nature, and I can always use a new helpful book!

While I always enjoy the swap, it was fun for me as well to watch my friends enjoy it too! One was there to get seeds for her school garden - she works teaching gardening to kids after school but she has such a limited budget that she has to make every purchase count. She was delighted to get so many seeds that her kids wanted to grow for such a great "price", plus enjoy the day as well! I have to say my favorite comments though were from one of my friends who said "I sort of knew what this was, and I was excited for it, but I didn't know how much FUN it would be!".

Thanks again for all your hard work in making this event happen two weekends in a row! One last tidbit - I counted up the retail cost of the seeds I got and between the goody bag and the few I picked up, it was $72!! Not to mention the classes, the materials and magazines in the goody bag, and an overall lovely day and I'd say this is easily one of my favorite events all year.

Kristen Menichelli is also a Independent Beauty Consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics. Shop online with me here at


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