Kaua`i gardeners may feel a little more lucky–and a lot more diversified–if they choose to venture out for the 11th Biannual Seed and Plant Exchange on St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday March 17th, 2013. Regenerations Botanical Garden and its partners will host this popular event from noon until 5pm at the Church of the Pacific in Princeville.
Headlining the event is Forest Shomer, owner and operator of Inside Passage, a Washington-based seed company that specializes in native plants of the Pacific Northwest. 2013 marks his 40th anniversary as a full-time seedsman. He brings a wealth of seed production expertise to Kaua`i by serving on Regenerations’ board of directors. His presentation is entitled Shoulders of Our Ancestors. “Seed-saving is an ongoing activity of the present, resting on the solid foundational work of all our agricultural forebears”, said Shomer. He believes that Hawai`i is “ripe for the emergence of an organic seed industry”, an industry he helped to shape as founder and director of Abundant Life Seed Foundation from 1974 to 1992.
Regenerations is excited to join forces with `Ohana o Kaua`i, who will offer an all Kaua`i lu`au at the seed exchange, a service they regularly perform at special events on the north shore. “Food like chayote, tapioca, kalo, chaya and `ulu are some of the plants that often show up at the seed exchange, but are new to many people’s taste buds. `Ohana o Kaua`i’s gift of aloha grinds is the perfect way to share the abundance and diversity of what we can grow and eat here on the Garden Island”, said Jill Richardson, event co-founder and organizer.
The event will showcase dozens of tables of seeds, cuttings, and potted plants that community participants bring to share. Felicia Cowden of Regenerations said “this is a generosity party celebrating the potential of our homegrown food and plants. It’s important for our leaders to see the strength of our combined citizenry, people who want food independence and resilience, individual sovereignty and home rule.”
Early check-in of plant material begins at 12 noon. Those bringing seeds and plants are requested to bring only GMO-free, pest-free, non-invasive material. They will fill out a label that identifies the type of plant, favorable conditions, and location grown. All seeds and plants will be given freely or traded. The exchange will take place after the 2pm blessing. The speaker will begin at approximately 3 pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend; even if you have no plants or seeds to give away, there will be plenty to receive and share. To find out more visit ribg.org or call 652-4118. The event is a joint production of Regenerations Botanical Garden, Kauai Community Seed Bank, GMO-Free Kaua`i, Akamai Backyard, Heaven on Earth Starts, Kaua`i Beekeepers Association and `Ohana o Kaua`i.