#FARMsterdammers

This spring… grow your own food !!

AMSTERDAM SEEDLINGS SWAP

On Saturday 16 May 2020 pick up your vegetable plants in the streets of Amsterdam. 

Lots of free plants in your area for you to grow at home.

Let’s do some urban gardening!

Take part in the initiative and grow plants to share.

>> Link to Facebook Event

Several locations in Amsterdam (NL)
Click on the map

 

The idea

Several urban food growers and other folks from Amsterdam have decided to plant extra seeds of vegetable, fruit, herb and flowers this year, and share the plants with their neighbours on 16 May 2020.
On that Saturday, from 10am, we will place the plants in different locations of the city (map coming soon!) so that other people can pick them up and grow them at home.
Why 16 May? because besides being a Saturday, it’s just around the time of the year that you can “officially” put any sort of seedlings outside without protection (“ijsheiligen” in Dutch).

The purpose

We hope this initiative will encourage more people to start growing their own vegetables, and that makes us very happy!

We are a small group of people preparing extra plants for sharing, which we hope will help a few families in some neighbourhoods of Amsterdam to start their vegetables.

But what if we were more people all around the city? 
We would really love it if you could help us to fill the city with plants.
Together, we can aim to have a pick-up point for plants in every neighbourhood of Amsterdam on 16 May.

Space is not a problem

It doesn’t matter if you only have a small pot on a window sill, a balcony or a huge garden with chickens. Many varieties of plants can also grow in small spaces! Everybody can grow some vegetables.

Take part!

Do you have seeds at home?

Then please plant them, the sooner the better, so that on 16 May the plants are ready for others in your area. 

When you leave the plants in the street, please try to label them so that people know what they are taking.

Of course you can also pick up a few plants from others, while keeping a collaborative spirit!

What plants can I share with others?

Although you can share any vegetable, fruit, herb or flower that you want, not all plants react the same way. Please see some suggestions in the section below.

Invite others to take part

Please share the idea with others who could be interested in doing urban gardening and/or are willing to grow seeds for their neighbours and themselves.

Remember that it takes some weeks until the plants are ready to be transplanted, so please grow the seeds as soon as possible. That way they will be ready for 16 May.

No seeds at home?

No worries!  On 16 May there will be plants available for you.

If you’d like to help sharing plants with others, but you don’t have any seeds to grow, you can always try to get some seeds by participating in a seed exchange or buying  some organic, non hybrid seeds in a local shop.

Did you know that it’s also possible to save seeds from the vegetables and other ingredients in your kitchen? 

Some useful materials:
*  No seeds, no soil, no space? No problem!  (The Guardian)
*  Guidance on seed saving and seed sovereignty 
*. Vegetable seed saving handbook (website)
*  Seed saving guide (PDF)
*
More info coming soon

Share your experience

Let us know how your plants evolve!

You can post your comments, pictures or any questions about gardening on social media.

We can use the hashtag #farmsterdammers, share our experiences and learn together!

What plants can you share with others?

Starting a garden is something relatively easy, but not all the varieties
of plants react in the same way to transplantation. Here some suggestions:

Plants that are good for sharing:
Basil, Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Chard, Collards,Courgette,  
Cucumbers, Aubergine (Eggplant), Lettuce, Peppers, 
Strawberries,Tomato, Leeks, Onion, etc.

 

Can be shared, but you need to take care when transplanting:
Carrots, Kale, Kohlrabi,Spinach, Parsley, Mustard, Watermelon, Celery, etc. 
 
Grow directly at home (not for sharing):
Beans, Corn, Cantaloupe and other melons, Okra, Peas, Squash, Turnips, etc.
*More info coming soon

What kind of containers can you use to prepare the seedlings?

Seed trays are the ideal receptacles for growing seeds, but if you don’t have any, no worries. You can reuse some empty yoghourt pots, egg or milk cartons, empty toilet rolls, small pots or planters, etc…

Just make sure you make some hole(s) in the bottom of the recipient, so that the water can drain well.

We have included some photos for inspiration.

Just put in some imagination, a bit of good organic soil, some beautiful organic non-hybrid seeds… and try to keep them happy!

 

*** Please try not to use plastic materials when possible. If you need to use them, at least try to reuse old ones. We encourage you not to buy plastic!

IMPORTANT TIPS FOR SATURDAY 16 MAY

Including what to take, how to drop off or pick up plants, and what to expect of the day.


IDEA

The main idea is that people with plants to share can give them to others, so that more people can start growing their own food at home.

WHAT CAN I TAKE WITH ME?
Some people say that they don’t have plants but they would like to participate, bringing something as well.
Well, the event was originally conceived for sharing plants, but for instance seeds or anything related with gardening (some home made compost to share?) will also be welcome. This is totally up to each of us.
You can also go to one point with nothing to share, and pick up some plant(s) for you. If you do so, you can still give back and reciprocate in the future. With the plants you take home there is still a huge opportunity to help at a future stage, since we will ask everybody to please keep seeds from the healthier plants, so that you can share them with others next year, in this or other events like the Reclaim the Seeds Festival. That would be super important. We will explain more about the reasons soon.

AM I SUPPOSED TO STAY IN THE POINT FOR LONG?
Not at all. It’s totally up to you!
Some people might just go to the point they choose, share some plants and leave. Others might want to stay for a while, or the whole morning/afternoon while reading a book, drinking tea or interacting with others who join. It will be totally up to you and the conditions of the space where you are sharing plants. For instance, a few of the points are private spaces that on Saturday will open their doors for people sharing and picking up plants, and these spaces have their own opening hours (there are some notes about this in the information of each point when you click on it in the map).
COVID-19: We also need to take care of social distancing between each other, and that we don’t gather in a number that could be unsafe or punishable. Please take care of yourself and others, let’s not forget that we are currently living a very particular and challenging situation!

DECORATION OF THE SPACE
Be as creative as you’d like!
We are trying to make available for each of the sharing points a little poster and some brief information about the idea.
But of course we would love it if you also want to hang some party flags, prepare any colourful scene or do whatever you fancy.

SOME TIPS FOR THE PLANTS DROP OFF / PICK UP
We all are either going to share or pick up plants, that need to be carried in a way that is safe for them until we transplant them.
For people sharing plants:
We recommend that you bring them in a way that is easy for people to carry. Ideally you can have some reused receptacles, or newspaper (this works really well!) with which you can make little containers (better if the plants are already prepared for people to pick up).
Labels for plants: Please help others to know which plants you are offering by leaving a simple label for each kind of plant, or by telling them.
For people picking up plants:
Please try to do the same. Bring something that can help you to pick up some plant(s). Newspaper is again very recommended, as well as a bag or a box that can help to bring the plants home safely.
Sharing is the most important: We ask you not to take too many plants with you, please, so that others can also start growing vegetables, even if it’s with just one or two plants. Of course, if there’s a lot of availability, or maybe it’s the end of the day and the plants are there for you…then, please just take them! You can always take a few plants and share them with friend, family, neighbours… again, this is about collaboration and solidarity!
Plants too small to be shared on Saturday?
No worries, that’s totally fine! In that case just take care of them until you can share them with others in a few weeks. We have already seen some of you chatting and agreeing to share plants soon. That is wonderful!

We really hope this text helps to understand that this is a really open and flexible idea, and that we are all creating the “rules” together.

It is also the first time that we are organising the Farmsterdamers event, in just a few weeks and with only a few people behind it, but also with the huge help of the community that we are starting to build together.

Keep in touch and happy gardening!

Reasons to grow a garden

“We think it’s great to grow your own food every year. And thinking about the current situation, there are many different reasons why this moment is the best”

“Gardening is a great activity to do at home. It adds motivation to my day. I feel it keeps me more focused somehow, and it is one of the few activities that keep me away from my screen some time everyday”

 

“Having a garden is really fun. My kids prepare their own pots. They are really curious and during the season, they spend hours watching the plants, the different flowers and bugs, and also watering. They have fun taking care of nature and learning from the experience”

Follow us and keep in touch!

Please  follow us on social media , where we will be sharing more information and tell your friends, family, colleagues, class-mates, etc, about it.

We still need to create a map with the final locations of the plants on 16 May. Let’s build it together!

Looking forward to seeing pictures and updates of your plants in the following weeks. 

Happy gardening!!!

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