11th Biannual Seed and Plant Exchange
St. Patrick’s Day, Sunday March 17th, noon until 5 p.m., Church of the Pacific in Princeville, free
Forest Shomer is headlining this Seed and Plant Exchange with his presentation entitled Shoulders of Our Ancestors. Shomer is the owner and operator of Inside Passage, a Washington-based seed company that specializes in native plants of the Pacific Northwest. This is his 40th year as a full-time seedsman, and he brings his wealth of seed production expertise to Kauai by serving on Regenerations’ board of directors.
“Seed-saving is an ongoing activity of the present, resting on the solid foundational work of all our agricultural forebears,” says Shomer who believes that Hawaii is “ripe for the emergence of an organic seed industry”, an industry he helped shape as founder and director of Abundant Life Seed Foundation from 1974 to 1992.
Regenerations is partnering with Ohana o Kauai, who will offer an all Kauai luau at the seed exchange, a service they regularly perform at special events on the north shore.
“Foods like chayote, cassava, kalo, chaya and ulu are some of the plants that often show up at the seed exchange, but are new to many people’s taste buds,” says Jill Richardson, event co-founder and organizer. “Ohana o Kauai’s gift of aloha grinds is the perfect way to share the abundance and diversity of what we can grow and eat here on the Garden Island.”
The event will feature dozens of tables of seeds, cuttings, and potted plants that community participants bring to share.
“This is a generosity party celebrating the potential of our homegrown food and plants,” says Felicia Cowden of Regenerations. “It’s important for our leaders to see the strength of our combined citizenry, people who want food independence and resilience, individual sovereignty and home rule.”
Early check-in of plant material begins at noon. Those bringing seeds and plants are requested to bring only GMO-free, pest-free, non-invasive material. They will fill out a label that identifies the type of plant, favorable conditions, and location grown. All seeds and plants will be given freely or traded. The exchange will take place after the 2 p.m. blessing. Forest Shomer will begin at approximately 3 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend; even if you have no plants or seeds to give away, there will be plenty to receive and share. To find out more visit the Regenerations Botanical Garden website or call 652-4118. The event is a joint production of Regenerations Botanical Garden, Kauai Community Seed Bank, GMO-Free Kauai, Akamai Backyard, Heaven on Earth Starts, Kauai Beekeepers Association and Ohana o Kauai.