Kathryn, based in Linlithgow in central Scotland has made a Fun Palace for the past 3 years – in 2018 and 2019 as part of her job at Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling. 2020 was the first time she made a Fun Palace without being attached to an organisation, so wanted to do something simple and low-maintenance that would help her to connect with people on her street. Here she shares her Tiny Revolution of Organising a Seed Swap with your neighbours.
Organise a seed swap
– Spare seeds (either collected and saved from your own plants, leftover from planting earlier in the year, or bought from shops).
– Plain envelopes (I used sturdy brown ones that could withstand a bit of wind and drizzle)
– Felt pens
– String and pegs, if you want to make a washing line to act as a giveaway point
- Let people know about your plans. I used some local Facebook groups to let people know about the seed swap (and promote the date), and encourage people to take part. You could also put notes through people’s door, ask local groups or schools to get involved, or put up posters.
- Decorate your envelopes. I made mine brightly coloured and eye catching, with FREE SEEDS in big letters to encourage people to take them. I also included details of Fun Palaces and the seed swap, and instructions of how and when to plant the seeds.
- Put them out for swapping! I made a washing line on the railings by our house, with packets of seeds pegged along it. I also left packs outside our local doctor’s surgery, pharmacy, and along the high street.
- See what happens. All of my packets got snapped up really quickly, even with bad weather that weekend. I did a walk around the areas I’d put seeds at the end of the day, to check none had blown away or got ruined by the rain. It was also a good opportunity to keep an eye out for other people taking part in the seeds swap by putting their own packs out for swapping. I encouraged people to post their finds (and their giveaways) on social media to build awareness and encourage more people to get involved.
I started a community garden on my street at the beginning of 2020, so the seed swap felt like a nice complement to that. Decorating the envelopes was fun and easy, and I liked that the Fun Palace didn’t need me to be around the whole day, so it fit easily around my other plans. It was really exciting when I started to see packets of seeds appearing from other people, and was a nice way to start some (online and real life) conversations with other people interested in gardening.
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