by Shena Cooper
Fruitful Abundance is organising the 10th Northampton Seed Swap on 10 February 2024. Their mission is to alert people to the reasons why FOOD is so important in helping slow Climate Change and to help them make alterations in their lives which will improve life for them and for the future of the world.
So why a Seed Swap?
Encouraging people to ‘grow their own’, whether that be sprouting a few seeds on the window sill or taking on a larger growing area like an allotment or field, allows people to have a closer connection with what they eat and a more considered approach to food in general. At a Seed Swap visitors can either bring their excess seeds (please label with type, variety and year saved) and exchange them for a different variety/type or if they are new to growing or seed saving they can choose seeds in exchange for a donation (50p is suggested). Many regular attendees to this annual event save their seeds from their previous year’s harvest. These seeds are especially valuable as they have been grown locally and so are acclimatized to some degree.
Why grow your own food?
There are many benefits, and some drawbacks. One of the main benefits is that you know exactly what that product has been treated with; one can make sure that only organic fertilisers and insecticides have been used. Also when one grows their own you can pick and eat within a very short time span so you can enjoy the extra taste and nutrition of really fresh food. There is no plastic packaging, food miles or storage gases, all of these are detrimental to the planet and our health.
However there is quite possibly a chewed leaf, a wormy centre to a fruit or a tiny slimy slug which are definite drawbacks. Have you ever wondered why the supermarket lettuce is clean, free from vermin and wrapped in plastic? It is these ‘benefits’ that we need to question.
Connecting with nature, weather and the soil is excellent for our sense of wellbeing. Spending time outside in the fresh (windy, drizzly, sunny) air and having contact with the soil has been shown to lift our spirits, although you do sometimes wonder when you return from the garden soaking wet and muddy! Keeping our soil alive ensures that the animals, bacteria and microbes within the soil, which are so essential for a diverse eco-system, are preserved even if the soil in large areas of farmland is depleted by the use of destructive chemicals and farming practices.
What to expect
The seed swap is on Saturday 10th February in The Doddridge Centre in St James (opposite Church’s Shoes) from 10.00-2.00.
As well as the seed swap table there will be a Sustainability Market selling locally produced marmalade and jam, natural garden poles etc, Rare Seeds, Recycled books etc, Seed Potatoes, Neals Yard Remedies and more. If you need refreshments we will have a café with cakes and beverages, and soup and freshly cooked food, please visit for your morning coffee or lunch.