Arkansas Flower and Garden Show to host heirloom seed swap
Heirloom produce is making a comeback, thanks to consumers who prefer ingredients with better flavor--as opposed to the ability to survive long road trips. Not only that, but they want to grow their own.
This year, the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show will feature a seed swap, one of 10 to be held statewide with CAAH!'s sponsorship. The swap is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 26 at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show in the Statehouse Convention Center.
"Heirloom seeds and seed-saving are gaining momentum nationally and internationally because they allow for better local adaptation and require fewer inputs such as water, fertilizers and pesticides," said Brian Campbell, Ph.D., director of Conserving Arkansas's Agricultural Heritage, or CAAH!. "And in many cases, you get better flavors and a wider range of options, not to mention saving money by saving seeds."
Seed swaps are a collaborative effort that often includes Master Gardeners, Extension agents, county libraries, churches, student groups and others.
"Seed Swaps are designed to be self-sustaining events that are started by CAAH! in collaboration with local groups," he said.
"CAAH! distributes seeds and information about how to save seed, then the group returns the next couple years, and it is hoped the local seed-savers and organizations eventually organize and trade seeds on their own without external support," Campbell said.
The flower and garden show also features a screening of the documentary "Seed Swap," a film produced by Campbell and directed by Zachariah McCannon.
The documentary showcases four year-development of the CAAH!, including the process of establishing the seed swaps. View the trailer at www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX6tUnNTNM4.
Other CAAH! seed swaps are planned for Hot Springs, Eureka Springs, Mountain View, Conway, Jasper, Russellville, El Dorado, Beebe and Fayetteville.
To learn more about CAAH! visit http://arkansasagro.wordpress.com.
For more information about the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, call 501-821-4000 or visit www.arflowerandgardenshow.org/index.htm.
The Arkansas Flower and Garden Show is produced in partnership with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Arkansas Farm Bureau, the Arkansas Federation of Garden Clubs, the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture's Master Gardener program and the Arkansas Florist Association.
This year's platinum sponsor is Twin City Tractor/Fiser Kubota. Gold sponsors are Clark Trim and Henrick Thostrup, Steve and Merilyn Tilley and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Silver sponsor is Greenleaf Nursery. Bronze sponsors are Carol and Allen Mendel, Certified Arkansas Farmers' Markets, Arkansas Farmers Market Association, River Valley Horticultural Products.