Swap those seeds!

GRUB Cooperative’s 4th Annual Seed Swap is Feb. 23

Bulk-bin seed-sourcing: GRUB’s Sherri Scott knows a lot about that.

Bulk-bin seed-sourcing: GRUB’s Sherri Scott knows a lot about that.

Photo By claire hutkins seda

Swappin’ seeds
You’ve got little jars full of arugula, calendula and Russian kale seeds that you saved after last year’s plants went to seed. Plus, you still have about a dozen packets of seeds lurking in an empty cigar box under your bed, the leftovers after an unbridled ordering spree from the (awesome) Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog.

Swap some of those seeds for some different ones that you might actually use this year—at the GRUB Cooperative’s 4th Annual Seed Swap on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 2 to 6 p.m. Attendees are asked to label the seeds, bulbs, plants and cuttings they bring to exchange (though it is not necessary to bring anything in order to attend).

A number of informative talks are also on the day’s schedule, including:• 2:30 p.m.: Stephanie Elliott, on growing plants for their seeds

• 3 p.m.: Sherri Scott, on seed-sourcing from bulk bins

• 3:30 p.m.: talk on planned “seed library

• 4 p.m.: Redwood Seed Company on saving seeds

And definitely check out the seed-ball-making table, for kids and adults.

For more info, call Scott at 342-3376 or Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper at 828-6390. GRUB is located at 1525 Dayton Road.

Choosing green products for your home
Local green architect Hyland Fisher, whose advice on air-sealing one’s home to keep out the cold appeared in this column last month (see The GreenHouse, Jan. 17), recently sent me another short piece he wrote on what to look for when selecting so-called “green” products—such as paint, cabinetry and flooring—for use inside your home.

“Look beyond the label’s ‘green’ assertion,” says Fisher. “There is no certification required for labeling a product ‘green,’ so a product labeled as green may not be healthier for your family, sustainable or environmentally friendly. This applies to everything from construction materials, cabinets and appliances, to finish products such as paint and flooring.

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“Often at little to no extra cost, we have the opportunity to purchase nontoxic, recycled, low-embodied-energy and local products,” he points out. Fisher lists some important things to consider when looking to purchase eco-friendly, sustainable products for one’s living space:“Toxicity: Does the product contain hazardous materials? How does the manufacturing of the product impact the environment? Will the product contribute to poor air quality in your home? Life cycle: Is the product recycled? Is it recyclable? What kind of maintenance is required? What is the service life of the product? How is it properly disposed of? Embodied energy: What are the resources required to get a product from its natural state to a finished product in your hands? What is involved in the processing, packaging, and shipping? Is the product local? Beyond: Does it fit your budget? Does the product and manufacturer have a good reputation? Does it improve the overall quality of your home? Can you use it as a ‘teachable moment?’”

Fisher recommends making use of www.buildinggreen.com, “a reputable resource for unbiased product and system evaluations.” Some of the information is free; a fee is required for access to the site’s library of products, articles, and case studies.

Go to www.hylandfisherarchitect.com to learn more about Fisher’s sustainable-architecture business.