We’ve done a good job of staying at home for the past two weeks, and our coronavirus exposure is controlled. As a state, we should still be cautious, so this month will be a socially-limited seed giveaway so we can start our “victory gardens” and grow food for our family and neighbors.
Here’s how it will work. On April 14 from 4-6pm at Kaiser HS parking lot, I’ll put out seed packets with clear descriptions. Take what you can plant and don’t worry about bringing plants to this month’s exchange. I’ll get started on replenishing our supply for May. If you have plants, hold on to them for a month and hopefully we’ll be back to normal on May 12.
Wear a mask if you have one, otherwise I’ll have materials for you to make a disposable one on-site.
Here are seeds I’m planning to bring and which I have adequate stock to give out readily. Most of these are from a commercial grower (Johnny’s Seeds), but a few are locally harvested and collected:
- Chinese Cabbage
- Thai Basil
- Spaghetti Squash
- Hera Dill
- Striped Grey Sunflower
- Long Bean
Original posted April 7: Seed giveaway / exchange being considered in lieu of usual plant exchange
Disclaimer: During the day, plant auntie is usually a numbers analyst.
Naturally, I doubted that we would be able to hold our usual plant exchange, especially given the number of older regulars we see every month. I fully expected that Hawaii would be no different than other cities: we would see exponential growth in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
Well, Hawaii, once again you’ve proven me wrong in the best of ways. Our statewide caseload has remained controlled and we have not yet overwhelmed our hospitals with COVID19 cases.
That’s not to say that we’re out of danger yet. We are still seeing cases enter the pipeline and our hospitalization rate is growing. As of Tuesday, April 7, we have had 42 cumulative cases requiring hospitalization.
Which brings me to the difficult choice about next week’s usual monthly exchange. The four of us that usually host the exchange absolutely love this event. It gives us more pleasure than we receive — all made more amazing by the fact that it does the same for everyone else too. However, I do not want to put anyone in a situation where they unnecessarily make trips outside their normal essential routine.
For this month, what I am considering is putting out vegetable and other edible seeds for planting. The bags will be clearly labeled so that visitors can pick them out quickly and minimize exposure to others. If you want to bring seeds for exchange, be sure to label them well so others will know what they are getting. (I’ll hold on to the new seeds until next month and I’ll put them in individual bags for distribution.) If you don’t have seeds for exchange, come anyway and take what you can use. In these new lean times, planting a vegetable garden helps our community. If you want to leave a donation for Kaiser High School, I’ll have the usual tip jar out, but don’t feel obligated to donate. It will be just me this month, but if we keep our social distancing rules, perhaps all of us can return to a more normal routine in May.
The bottom line is this: If Thursday’s hospitalization count is lower than 65 (less than 23 added from today), we’ll do the seed exchange. The lower number will make me feel better knowing that the virus isn’t too widespread and that being out isn’t as large a danger to your safety. Cross your fingers — I’m really hoping to do this. P.S. If you have a mask, definitely wear one — they’re good for all of us.