An Indiana University of Pennsylvania student organization is looking to both give and receive.
The Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) Club of IUP, a student-organized group, will host the sixth annual Community Seed Swap on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. in the IUP Hadley Union Building’s Ohio Room. The Seed Swap is part of a larger project to add to the Northern Appalachian Seed Bank.
The program is free and open to the community.
Those attending the event are encouraged to bring seeds and information about the seeds. The biology students in the SEEDS Club of IUP will collect the donated seeds and take notes about the stories offered by the seed donors.
The IUP students have gathered seeds from wildflowers of known local wild provenance and some herb and vegetable seeds donated by heritage seed organizations. These seeds will be offered to anyone at the event, but a seed donation is not required to receive the seeds from the IUP students. All seeds will be available at no cost.
Those wishing to share seeds are asked to provide the following information about each type of plant: common name, year of harvest, growth habit (height of mature plant), and stories that go along with the seeds. Seeds can be brought in any quantity and container.
No genetically modified organism or hybrid seeds should be brought.
Tables will be set up with seeds divided by vegetable, fruit or wildflower; volunteers will be stationed at each table to oversee the labeling of donated seeds, the distribution of seeds and answer questions.
In addition to the swap activity, from 2 to 3 p.m. Dr. Dana Driscoll will present “Medicinal and Edible Plants of Indiana County.” Driscoll is a professor of English and teaches in the Sustainability Studies program at IUP.
She is a specialist in wild foods, edible plants, folk herbalism, homesteading and sustainable living. She practices traditional western herbalism and is a certified permaculture designer and permaculture teacher.
Weather permitting, Driscoll will lead a plant walk on IUP’s campus, discussing edible, medicinal, and craft and survival uses of local plants.
If weather is too inclement to permit the plant walk, Driscoll will lead a program on making herbal plant preparations and learning about key backyard plants that can be used for healing.
The event is family-friendly. There will be pumpkin- and face-painting, a costume contest and trick-or-treating. The children’s activities are also free.
For more information or to volunteer at the event, contact Dr. Ellen Yerger, faculty adviser for the IUP
Department of Biology SEEDS club, at eyerger@iup. edu.