Sharing Seeds and Community: Nazareth Community Garden’s Seed Swap Soiree

On Thursday, May 25 community gardeners at Nazareth’s Community Garden participated in a “Seed Swap” to share seeds and young plants, gardening resources and knowledge, and time in community. This first-of-its-kind event was organized by AmeriCorps Volunteer, Julia Gerwe, in collaboration with the SCN Office of Ecological Sustainability and the Nazareth Grounds Department. The event helped community gardeners get to know one another and promoted the goal under 2018 General Assembly Directive 4B to encourage others to “eat a more locally-grown, plant-based diet and to grow more kitchen gardens”. The event was a great success, with nearly 20 gardeners in attendance. Gardeners brought seeds and plants to share with each other (hence the name “seed swap”), such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, and even pumpkins. Julia prepared snacks with fresh produce, and various gardeners brought other sweet treats. Master Gardeners Jim and Jackie Sanneman brought resource materials from the University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Extension Office. This event was a great space to meet other gardeners, celebrate the start of the 2021 spring/summer growing season, and share advice about pests and weed control – challenges facing many gardeners everywhere.

There are 44 beds in Nazareth’s community garden this year, and all have been claimed by a total of 32 gardeners. This season’s gardeners at Nazareth include many Sisters (both living at Nazareth and in the surrounding area), various residents of the Village apartments, and community members. Many individuals, couples, and families have been participating in the Nazareth Community Garden since its inception in 2012. The community gardeners are thankful to the SCNs and Nazareth Grounds for providing the opportunity to garden and gather in community. This outdoor seed swap event was a good chance to reunite and socialize following the year of lockdown. Blessings abound!

Julia Gerwe