WELCOME TO THE MICHIGAN SEED SWAP!
The Michigan Seed Swap is a mail-in seed swap by Michiganders, for Michiganders. Enjoy diversifying your seed collection for a fraction of the cost and make new like-minded friends right here in Michigan!
UNSURE IF A SEED SWAP IS RIGHT FOR YOU? READ ON.
wHAT IS A SEED SWAP?
In its most basic definition, a seed swap is an event in which growers exchange seeds.
The seed swap community is always growing, pun intended. There are many different swaps out there, all with different rules and requirements. Some swaps are grand in-person events and some are done from the comfort of your own home via snail mail. Some are for specific plants and varieties, maybe just heirloom tomatoes or strictly flowers. Others welcome whatever you’ve got. There are international seed swaps featuring seeds from growers all over the world, others, like ours, are region-specific.
Take time to browse the web, check your local newspaper, and explore all of the seed swapping opportunities available to you.
Why not just buy new seeds? Why put in the effort of a seed swap?
- You’ll meet like-minded individuals; folks with a passion for gardening and growing their own food, flowers, etc. We are firm believers that a strong community = a strong garden. It is so beneficial to have a group of gardeners cheering you on and offering a helping hand when needed.
- You’re able to acquire a diverse selection of seeds for a fraction of the cost; not necessarily more seeds, but a more diverse selection. Let’s say a pack of seeds is $4 from a seed company. Yes, you can spend $20 and get 5 different packs of seeds. Or, you can sink that $20 into a seed swap and end up with 20+ varieties at your doorstep. Some swaps offer a buy-in option for those who don’t have seeds to trade.
- You’ll quickly diversify your seed collection. If you’re looking to spice up your seed collection, consider signing up for a swap. Most likely you’ll receive a nice sampling of varieties to try in your garden. Maybe you’ll even find a new favorite staple!
Also, this swap is primarily for Michiganders. We wanted to create a swap where folks could exchange seeds with others from not only their region, but their exact state. One swap a year is open to residents of the Great Lakes states; Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.
We offer four different options for our participants. Return shipping is included in each option.
- Standard Seed Swap: Send in the given number of seeds in exchange for a new collection from other swappers.
- Deluxe Seed Swap: Send in the given number of seeds in exchange for a new collection from other swappers, plus a gift in return.*
- Buy-In Standard Seed Swap: No seeds are submitted, but you will receive a new collection from other swappers.
- Buy-In Deluxe Seed Swap: No seeds are submitted, but you will receive a new collection from other swappers, plus a gift in return.*
*The gift(s) that come with the Deluxe option come as a surprise and are different for every swap.
Seed Swap FAQ
What Kind Of Seeds Should I Include?
Please only include clean, well-kept viable seeds; seeds you would be happy to share with friends. These should be seeds and plants that fellow Michiganders can successfully grow in their climate. Heirloom seeds are encouraged, but not required.
You can include all of one seed type or spice it up and include different seeds; all up to your preference. Unless otherwise noted, food, flowers, and herbs are welcome in the Michigan Seed Swap.
How Do I Prepare A Seed Packet?
Each seed packet should be labeled with:
- Your Instagram username or some other way to easily identify you.
- The specific type of seed. Ex: “Atomic Grape Tomato,” not “Tomato.”
Each packet should include an average of 10-20 seeds. If you have something particularly large or rare you’d like to include in the swap where you felt like this number isn’t right for you, please get in touch with us ahead of time!
Any special growing instructions included on packets is always appreciated. You can use little plastic baggies, kraft envelopes, or great creative and make your own envelopes for your seeds. Please write neatly and take care when packaging.
Can I Request Specific Seeds?
If you have any requests, please write it down and send it in the mail with your seeds. If you’re doing the buy-in option, include it in your notes at check out. We’ll do our best to get you your request when divvying up the seeds, but it is not a guarantee that you’ll receive what’s on your wish list.
What Happens If There Are Too Many Participants and I Don't Have Enough Seeds?
Because we are a very niche swap, we have fewer participants in our swap. We recommend being prepared with about twenty packets because that’s the average amount of participants we have.
Where Do The Extra Seeds Go?
Sometimes, folks send extra seeds. What we do is divvy up the seeds to make sure that all participants receive the same number of seed packets, but true leftovers are sent to Peace Tree Parks.
Who is Peace Tree Parks?
Peace Tree Parks is a non-profit organization in Detroit, Michigan. If you would like to donate organic seeds to their mission, please fill out the packet as normal but also include “Peace Tree Parks” on the packet. We will send the seeds on your behalf.
Since 2015, Peace Tree Parks have been on a mission to make sure Detroiters have access to fresh organic produce by bringing community and residential gardens to city neighborhoods. Learn more by visiting their website peacetreeparks.org and following them on Instagram.
*Blog posts are solely the views & opinions of the author, and do not represent Homesteaders of Michigan or our affiliates.
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