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Seed Swap - Chicago
FREE 7th Annual Santa Barbara Seed Swap
January 25th, 11:00 to 3:00, SB Public Library, Faulkner Gallery 

Seeds, plants, cuttings and garden knowledge to swap. Activities for all ages, with music and special speakers. More information: 962-2571, margie@sbpermaculture.org

I will be presenting at 1 PM, Intro to Seed Saving! Would love to meet you, see you there! Santa Barbara’s average last frost date is Jan 22! I would say this is divine timing!

If you are from out-of-town but near enough, and enjoy adventurous journeys, come make a day of it in our fair city!

If you don’t live in our area, please check to see when Seed Swaps will be in your area! If there are none, if you are willing, please, please, please, contact local permaculturists, garden groups/clubs, to see about starting one! Preserving our heritage, not GMO but heirloom seeds, is vital to our continued nutritious future, and for our children’s healthy futures!

ONLINE SEED SWAPS! As the National Gardening Assn says: One gardener’s extras are another’s treasures! Here’s how they do it!

See Seeds Rock! Choosing the Perfect Ones for You!
See How to Seed Swap! 

With great gratitude to you and all our ancestors!
Happy seed hunting!


Pilgrim Terrace Gardeners: The refurbished Greenhouse is ready for its first spring use! Starts begun at the end of January will be ready for March plantings!



Walk or bike to 2015 events as possible! Heal the land, heal yourself.


Feb 17, Little Garden Club, From Your Own Garden! If you are a member of the Little Garden Club, or can come as a guest, come to see my lovely presentation, a garden is more than the food you eat. Natural History Museum, 2 PM!


Feb 28 brings the Master Gardeners’ presentation Year Round Edibles! 2 to 4 PM Onsite at Mesa Harmony Permaculture Garden. Planting times, seasonal garden practices, and food storage! 4 Speakers presenting, I will be first! This will be a super useful gathering! Bring your notepad, digital recorder, best garden friends!


Saturday April 25 Santa Barbara Food & Farm Adventures! I will lead the Pilgrim Terrace Tour! 10 AM Bike Tour to Community Gardens; No Biker left behind! The Terrace will be first, then up they go to Trinity Garden! Enjoy seeing these very different gardens.

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Oh, Yes, It’s SEED SWAP time again!

Dear Santa Barbara area Gardeners,
this is an event not to miss!

Seed Swaps are wonderful exchanges of local seeds, all for FREE, and offer the magic of trying a seed you would never have bought!
Chicago Garden friends? Chicago Botanic Garden 2014 Seed Swap info!

Seeds are BIG!  And super important!  They are amazing living beings that carry our best plants forward through time.  Preserving them and saving them from interference, is essential.  The University of Georgia is just one place that has a Seedbank, in their case, the “Southern Seed Legacy.”  You can get seeds and recipes from them!



Saturday January 25, 6:30 to 8:30 PM  With a theme of plants from the Western Hemisphere & Mesoamerica this year, the Seed Swap kicks off with an evening talk by Lorenz Schaller of the Kusa Seed Society, titled “Modern Science Meets Ancient Maize.” Ancient Mayans had over 300 Maize foods, while the Incas, an advanced agricultural civilization, skillfully developed an amazing variety of plants like quinoa, beans, amaranth and potatoes. They prized Maize above all others as the plant that nourished and allowed their civilization to rise and thrive. Please come and share your examples of plants from the Americas like squash, corn, chayote, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, avocados, guavas, chili peppers, manioc, agave, and prickly pear.

Lorenz Schaller, a longtime Ojai resident,  is a remarkable steward of his environment. Formerly a staff member at the California Institute of Technology (Cal-Tech), Schaller studied and taught the nutritional, culinary, and ecological significance of bio-diverse seed crops for many decades. Kusa is a Sanskrit word meaning sacred grass.

Workshop at SB Downtown Public Library, $5 donation please or more if you can do it! Your generosity will be put to good use.


Sunday, January 26, 11 AM to 3 PM
6th Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap!

FREE! Santa Barbara Public Library, Faulkner Gallery, 40 E. Anapamu St, Santa Barbara, CA. If you are from out-of-town but near enough, and enjoy adventurous journeys, come make a day of it in our fair city!

Seed Swaps are wonderful exchanges of local seeds, all for FREE, and offer the magic of trying seeds you would never have bought!

More than 400 people attended last year, sharing seeds and knowledge with other backyard gardeners, plant lovers, and farmers! Come be a part of this seed saving movement! Be sure our locally adapted varieties of seed & plants are passed on to future generations. Children are welcome!  Local groups will table, including the Santa Barbara Seed Saving Guild, who will share valuable seed saving techniques and encourage local gardeners to grow out and harvest some of their best seeds for future gardens and seed swaps, making us a truly food secure community. Seed saving is a fun and easy way to connect to the circle of life.

Bring seeds, plants, cuttings, and garden knowledge to swap.

Don’t have these?
Come anyway and get seeds!
Seeds to sow, grow, harvest!
Grow seeds to save and share next year.
Activities for all ages
Music that will have your toes tapping – Honeysuckle Possums
Special Speakers throughout the day
A gathering of garden friends old and new.

A community program hosted by the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network Non-profit
Event co-sponsors: Island Seed & FeedHealing Grounds Biodynamic Nursery, & the Santa Barbara Seed Saving Guild, a program of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara Annual Community Seed Swap on Facebook

Exactly where is MesoAmerica?

Map of MesoAmerica, Central America



Some tips for swapping your saved seeds:

Pack them in paper coin envelopes or plastic baggies. Label seed packs with botanical and common name, and DATE they were gathered!  Five seeds per pack for larger and common seeds is good. Thirty seeds or so is good for smaller seeds. If you don’t have small coin envelopes or want to buy little plastic baggies, you can cut up junk mail envelopes into smaller envelopes to hold your seeds.

Why seeds?!?  First, a Swap is a fun way to meet other gardeners and people interested in beautifying their communities and growing their own food.  Starting your crops from seed is frugal.  Watching a tiny plant sprout and grow is an incredibly special experience, totally inspiring.  You learn about life while getting plenty of sunshine!  Seeds you get at a local SWAP, are adapted to your area, and will grow super well!

How to select your new seeds! 

  1. Take your garden plan with you.
  2. Take small baggies or small envelopes and a pencil with you.
  3. Label what you get when you get it.
  4. Take only what you need and a few more in case those fail or you love them and want to plant another round or two!  Leave the rest for others. Try not to get seed greed fever! 🙂
  5. Look for the date on the package or container. Ask when seeds were gathered.  Are the seeds still viable?
  6. Find out how big that plant will grow, decide if it will really fit in your available space.
  7. Is it a summer or winter plant?
  8. Ask tons of questions!
  9. Have a great time!

See Seeds Rock! Choosing the Perfect Ones for You! 


If you don’t live in our area, please check to see when Seed Swaps will be in your area!  If there are none, if you are willing, please, please, please, contact local permaculturists, garden groups/clubs, to see about starting one!  Preserving our heritage, not GMO but heirloom seeds, is vital to our continued nutritious future, and for our children’s healthy futures!

ONLINE SEED SWAPS! As the National Gardening Assn says:  One gardener’s extras are another’s treasures! Here’s how they do it!


With great gratitude to you and all our ancestors! 
Happy seed hunting!

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Seed Swap - Chicago BEAN!

Seed Swaps are wonderful exchanges of local seeds, all for FREE, and offer the magic of trying a seed you would never have bought!

Get SEEDS! Start seeds indoors NOW! Get your summer garden layout in mind. Peruse seed catalogs and order up for your Spring planting ASAP! 🙂 Santa Barbara’s last frost (spring) date is January 22! This isn’t to say there might not be another frost after that…and plants won’t produce fruit until they have enough hours of sun, and for some, warmth. Know that you are taking your chances. But to guarantee your success, start another round of seeds in a month or so, both for backup and succession planting.

If you just don’t have the seed bug, wait and get transplants and pop them right in the ground! No fuss, no muss.

What I’ve said before: This is bare root time – plants without soil on their roots! For us SoCal gardeners that’s cane berry bushes, deciduous fruit trees, strawberries, artichokes, asparagus, short day onions. Think twice about horseradish. It’s invasive as all get out! If you do it, confine it to a raised bed or an area where it will run out of water. Rhubarb, though totally tasty in several combinations, ie strawberry/rhubarb pie, has poisonous leaves! That means to dogs, small children and unknowing people. Either fence it off, or don’t grow it. I don’t recommend it in community gardens because we can’t assure people’s/children’s safety. Bare root planting is strictly a January thing. February is too late.

Keep feeding plants still in production. Scratch back a little soil and add a bit of chicken manure, cover, water in. Or give them a light feeding of liquid fish/kelp mix. If you feed your peas at all, they gather their own Nitrogen from the air, give them just a tiny amount.

Soil building is the single-most important thing you can do for your garden.

  • Compost is easy to make. Added to your soil, it increases water holding capacity, is nutritious, soil organisms flourish, your soil breathes!
  • Your green manures may be starting to flower, or will this month. That’s the time to fell them and chop them into your soil. Let them decompose in place, let the soil structure come alive. Keep the soil damp – lay down a light covering straw or leaves. Not too thick. You want it to breathe. Pretend you are an animal and stir it up once in awhile. Throw a few stinky handfuls of that chicken manure over it (I use a cup I keep in the bag). Add some of your vermicomposting worms! Let that land rest, restore, and be super tasty for spring planting! Or, put in a few more early days to maturity winter plants. They will mature in March/April. Perfectly in time for summer planting! If you have areas where your winter plants are finished and you don’t want to plant more ’til spring, start a green manure patch there! You can take it down in March/April for April/May heat lovers plantings!

Sit back, design your Summer Garden! And, DON’T MISS the Jan 25 and 26 6th Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap or any seed swaps in your area! If there isn’t one, consider starting one! Yes! Before you go, review Seeds Rock! Choosing the Perfect Ones for You! Enjoy!

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Mesa Harmony Garden Volunteer Planting & Maintenance
First Saturday of every month between 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., July 2
Bring shovels, wheel barrows, picks, etc. and a friend!

Sunday July 10 FREE DAY at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden!
YouTube link  Celebrating 85 years, perfect for summer guests!

Fairview Gardens, Urban Homesteading, Preserving the Harvest!

Beautiful image is header at SBCanning!

These 3 classes are taught by our Westsider list member, Certified Master Food Preserver, Cindy Shipp!  Sign up in advance for all these tasty classes!

All the classes will be hands on demonstrations of either water bath or pressure canning techniques. Every class will take home a jar of the recipes we make. For more information, or to sign up for these great classes, go to: http://www.fairviewgardens.org/PreservingtheHarvest.htm

July 23 Preserving the Harvest #1 9 am to 12 pm $40
August 20 Preserving the Harvest #2 9 am to 12 pm $40
September 17 Preserving the Harvest #3 9 am to 12 pm $40

International Permaculture Conference and Convergence, IPC10, will be held in Jordan across September 2011.  The theme is “Plan Jordan ~ Water”. http://www.ipcon.org/  The biennial International Permaculture Conference is the world’s premier permaculture gathering. Don’t miss it!

Enjoy!  Ride your bike or walk to these events when you can! 

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Local and One International Event! 

Mesa Harmony Garden Volunteer Planting & Maintenance, Install Water System
First Saturday of every month between 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., June 4
Bring shovels, wheel barrows, picks, etc. and a friend!

Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens Program Series, Basics Class
Saturday, June 11th, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Louise Lowry Davis Center, 1232 De La Vina St

Basics Class: review the process of creating and maintaining an Ocean Friendly Garden and steps necessary to complete the work yourself.  Led by G3, the Green Gardens Group (flier attached).  RSVP To: santabarbaraofg@gmail.com

Soon to follow in the Series: Ocean Friendly Garden Workshop, Workday and Walk!

Fairview Gardens, Urban Homesteading  Sign up in advance
June 4 & 5 Introduction to Permaculture: 2 Day program Two full days $195
June 18 Container Gardening – Gardening for small spaces, 9 am to 12 pm $40

July 23 Preserving the Harvest #1 9 am to 12 pm $40
August 20 Preserving the Harvest #2 9 am to 12 pm $40
September 17 Preserving the Harvest #3 9 am to 12 pm $40

International Permaculture Conference and Convergence, IPC10, will be held in Jordan across September 2011.
The theme is “Plan Jordan ~ Water”. http://www.ipcon.org/  The biennial International Permaculture Conference is the world’s premier permaculture gathering. Don’t miss it!

Enjoy!  Ride your bike or walk to these events when you can! 

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March 6  Orchid Greenhouse Exchange
1 to 3, 5155 Camino Floral  As with all Neighborhood Exchanges:  Bring whatever you have this time or year, or a baked good to share, or something garden related: an article of interest to pass around, etc..  But do come, no matter as we all get something out of being together!

March 12! 10 AM How to Grow More Delicious Edibles Per Square Foot Than You Ever Thought Possible! That will include 10 Space Saving Strategies and 11 Practices for Higher Yields! Cerena Childress, a Master Gardener presentation at La Sumida NurseryRain or shine. Class is FREE!  Would love for you to join us!

March 11 to 13  International Orchid Show Earl Warren Showgrounds, U.S. Hwy 101 at Las Positas  805-969-5746

Saturday, March 19 San Roque Garden Exchange 10-1  1440 Jesusita Lane

March 20  Happy Spring Equinox!

March 26  Fairview Gardens, Urban Homesteading, all day 9 to 5, Garden Layout & Bed Prep, Lasagna Gardening! Mark Tollefson. Lasagna gardening, a layered approach, creates highly aerated soils with high fertility. Discover how to use this system to grow many vegetables in a small space and at a higher rate of efficiency and productivity.    $85.00

Sign up in advance for April 30 Sheet Mulching – The Lazy Gardener’s Guide to Growing, all day 9 to 5    $85
June 4 & 5 Introduction to Permaculture: 2 Day program Two full days $195
June 18 Container Gardening – Gardening for small spaces 9 am to 12 pm $40

Earth Day 2011 Powered By the People” April 16, 17

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) will host the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17, 2011. The 2011 theme, “Powered by the People,” is in line with the CEC’s Fossil Free by ’33 campaign and emphasizes the power of daily choices in making Santa Barbara one of the first fossil-free communities in the nation.

The festival will feature approximately 250 exhibitors, a free valet bike parking section that is expected to hold over 1,000 bikes, and the third annual Green Shorts Film Festival. It will also include the festival’s 11th Green Car Show – featuring the largest collection of efficient and alternative fueled vehicles between Los Angeles and San Francisco and the longest-running show of its kind in the country.

Volunteer, attend, do come and enjoy!

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