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Published: Thursday, 2/21/2008

Gardeners schedule their season opener

Claudia Anderson, left, and beverly Monahan, right, sort and bag seeds in preparation for the annual seed exchange at Toledo Botanical Gardens. Claudia Anderson, left, and beverly Monahan, right, sort and bag seeds in preparation for the annual seed exchange at Toledo Botanical Gardens.
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It's the inaugural gardening event of 2008, able to capitalize on the energy gardeners have pent up through the previous months of short days.

Toledo Grows' fourth annual Seed Swap is Saturday, noon to 3 p.m., with workshops from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Crosby Conference Center at Toledo Botanical Garden.

It's a free, public event, promising seeds for all; however, people who bring items to share - well-marked seeds, bulbs, houseplants, gardening books - will receive more tickets for seeds than those who come empty-handed, says Michael Szuberla coordinator of Toledo Grows, the community-garden program of Toledo Botanical Garden.

Volunteers have been packaging more seeds than ever for the festive distribution, which will include six workshops, experts, information bags, an area for children's activities, and music by the Root Cellar String Band. Related organizations will have booths.

Marilyn Freeman, with the Needle Arts Guild of Toledo, counts and sorts seeds in the Crosby Conference Center to sort and bag seeds in preparation for the annual seed exchange. Marilyn Freeman, with the Needle Arts Guild of Toledo, counts and sorts seeds in the Crosby Conference Center to sort and bag seeds in preparation for the annual seed exchange.
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Seed distribution tables will be arranged according to cultivars, and workshops will be presented, at various locations, at 11 a.m. on plant nutrition and "talking tomatoes," at 1:30 p.m. on gardening for maximum nutrition and plant propagation, and at 3:15 p.m. on beekeeping and invasive plants.

In addition, a fund-raiser for Toledo Grows, the animal-themed "All Species Ball," will be tomorrow night, 8 to midnight, in the Ward Pavilion at Wildwood Preserve Metropark, 5100 West Central Ave. Admission is $20 per person and $35 per couple, and includes heavy hors d'ouevres, beverages, and music provided by disc jockeys. Guests are encouraged to wear animal masks.

Money raised will support Toledo Grows' new Livestock Initiative in which goats and chickens will be placed at two community gardens this summer, said Szuberla, noting that the organization has received a variance from the city permitting the animals.

Toledo Grows' Seed Swap, a public giveaway of vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seeds (some are heirloom seeds) and plant information, will be noon to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Crosby Conference Center at Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive. Information: 419-936-2975 or tgrows2@toledogarden.org.



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