Seeds to swap

Rice and corn seeds are among the many kinds of seeds available at the Michiana Seed Swap.

GOSHEN — Michiana residents can connect with fellow gardeners and plant enthusiasts from Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center during Goshen College’s fourth annual Michiana Regional Seed Swap this winter.

The seed swap will take place on Saturday, Jan. 15, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Goshen College Church Chapel, 1700 S. Main St.

This is a free event open to the public.

Everyone is welcome, from first-time gardeners to experienced growers, including children and families.

Participants will include home gardeners, community gardening organizers, small-scale growers and those interested in local food systems.

This networking and educational event is for residents in the region to exchange and learn about seeds. Participants can trade or acquire seeds, learn about seed saving techniques and gardening practices, browse resource tables and vendors and connect with other gardeners.

“A seed swap supports the biodiversity of crops grown in our region. Exchanging seeds helps us to create a ‘living seed bank’ of vegetables, grains, flowers and herbs that are regionally adapted to our area,” said John Sherck, a local seed grower and swap contributor.

Throughout the event, there will be educational sessions for participants to attend. Topics will vary, but among the speakers will be Dani Tippman, a Myaamia Native American descended from Takumwah and Chief Richardville, and a citizen of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma.

Tippman will explore seed rematriation by discussing Myaamia planting practices and relationships with plants and food through traditional and historical Myaamia stories.

More information about the educational sessions and event details can be found on our website at goshen.edu/merrylea/seedswap.

Participants are welcome to stay for the entire duration of Saturday’s events or drop in.

Herb, vegetable and flower seeds will be available through sales, trades and for free thanks to generous donations. Participants are not required to bring seeds to the event but are encouraged to do so if they have them.

Merry Lea cares about the safety of guests and staff, and seeks to protect the youngest learners. In following Goshen College policy, all participants, including children ages 3 and older, are asked to join Merry Lea staff in wearing face masks for the duration of the event.

Merry Lea is located just south of Wolf Lake, halfway between Goshen and Fort Wayne. Directions and updates are available at goshen.edu/merrylea or the Merry Lea Facebook page.

For questions regarding Merry Lea’s hours or new developments, contact merrylea@goshen.edu or 799-5869.

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