Wisdom grows, green thumbs meet at Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange

  - Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

Nancy and Jerry Marshall of Fall City had their eyes opened Saturday, March 1, at the fourth annual Snoqualmie Valley Seed Exchange. It was their first visit to the annual swapping of seeds and information and Nancy, a Master Gardener, was a bit overwhelmed at the number and variety of seeds available.

“I can’t save all this stuff!” she said, after tucking a few heirloom pepper seeds into a small labeled envelope. She passed on the tomato seeds, though, saying “I’m totally into the grafted plants now,” but wished she’d known the seeds didn’t have to be home-grown, since she had some leftover seed packets at home that she would have happily donated to the effort.

The exchange, held this year at the Sno-Valley Senior Center in Carnation, hosted more than a dozen booths, displays and, of course, seeds for the taking. Various rooms of the center were also given to presentations, including a well-attended farmers forum, oral histories with local farmers, and classes on seed saving, growing berries, and eating local year-round.

Despite the snowy afternoon, the center was humming with visitors throughout the event, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The exchange was sponsored by Transition Snoqualmie Valley and Strategies for Provident Living.

Learn more about Transition Snoqualmie Valley at

Snoqualmie farmers Jerri and Julie Johnson set up a display at the seed exchange to chat with visitors, and share their giant-pumpkin seeds.

Krista Rome, at the “Backyard Beans and Grains” booth, discusses the varieties of seed with a visitor.

Seed exchange coordinator Susan Alling, right, points out the various booths to volunteer Lyn Nelson during Saturday’s seed exchange in Carnation.

Chris Homanics of Skipley Farms, gestures as he describes his process of growing and saving his own seed on the farm. Also participating, right were Sarah Cassidy of Oxbow Farm, and Siri Salvo of Local Roots Farm. Behind the farmers, the Fall City Historical Society’s exhibit on the Hops Craze, was also a popular feature of the event.

Farmer and seed exchange volunteer Deb Arenth, right, talks with Bette Stuart at her booth touting local seed. Arenth said the exchange didn’t receive as many donations from seed producers this year, which she saw as good news, since it means interest in organic and sustainable seed is growing.


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