The past few days have been a great source of amusement as my facebook lights up with messages concerning the first annual seed swap on the "an honest to god gardening group" FB page.
I created two forums one for a seed swap and the other for a scion exchange. A few of the over three thousand members of the group have decided to participate and the number of plants made available were also slim pickins but somehow I managed to find a very nice scion exchange to get some grape vine starters which will fit well trained over my walls next to the flagstone patio on a south facing wall. These will be very nice.
I was still very excited about the exchanges though as they have stirred my imagination with the possibility of virtual seed and scion exchanges that could provide diversity to the edible landscape. Even in a small urban setting a diversity of productive plants is necessary if you want to insure bounty in the fall. My yard is a 1/8th acre plot. On this I have planted:
Nanking Cherry (2 different cultivars)
All In One Hardy Sweet Almond
Allenia Hardy Sweet Almond
Service Berries (4 different cultivars)
Blackberries (5 different cultivars)
Strawberries (2 different cultivars)
Aronia Berry (3 different cultivars)
Taylor Paw Paw
Sunflower Paw Paw
Gooseberry (4 different cultivars)
Hardy Kiwi (2 different cultivars)
Grapes (3 different cultivars soon to be 4)
Honeyberry (2 different cultivars)
Granny Smith Apple
Golden Delicious Apple
and about one thousand square feet of vegetable garden space with the usual suspects strategically placed including tomatoes, peppers, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, broccoli, carrots, beets, onions, egg plant, lettuce, and various herbs.
I will continue to build on the diversity which I see as a good start but not really good enough yet. I would still like to see some more edible plants despite my already highly unusual variety of edible plants. I would encourage gardeners to consider the possibility of increasing the biodiversity in your own landscape.
I think that the logical extension of this concept is the online seed swap/scion exchange and perhaps a perennial trade. Think about the possibilities!