Annual Seed Exchange

Posted & filed under Greater DuPage Chapter Events.

Saturday, November 9, 2019, 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Historic Warren Tavern
3 S 540 Second St.
Warrenville, IL
One block west of the Walgreens which is at the corner of Winfield and Warrenville Roads

The annual seed-swap held at Warren Tavern is a popular event with our members and friends.  Seeds of many natives have been ripening over the past weeks and months, and our members have been busy collecting and packaging them.  We hope many of you have, too. 

How the Exchange Works

Collect your own seed and bring it to the Seed Exchange.  You are entitled to take other seeds home with you, up to an amount equal to what you bring.  If you do not have seed to trade, packets of seed can be purchased for a nominal charge.  Last year, we had over 100 species available.  To see some tips on seed collecting and a list of seeds that were available last year, go to Seed Harvest


8am – 9am: Set up tables for auction, raffle, yard displays, sign-in, make coffee,  etc.

9am – 9:30am:  Set out seeds.  Browsing okay, but no shopping for seed until 9:30.

9:30am – 11am: Seed “shopping” and bidding on silent auction and/or raffle items

 10:30am: Announcement of raffle winners 

11am – Noon: Clean up

Label Those Seeds

Please label the seeds you bring.  Include Latin name, common name, description and any other helpful information, such as color of flower, time of bloom, height of plant, best location, etc.  Print copies of our Seed Labels Template to easily label your seeds.

How to Prepare and Package Seeds

Please clean your seeds, meaning remove seeds from stems and leaves and, especially with milkweed, separate seeds from fluff.  If you have milkweed seeds with fluff still attached, the best thing to do is scatter into a field which will make a likely habitat for it.   Most milkweed pods have already broken open, but if you have some which are still closed, check out this video which demonstrates how to separate the seeds from the fluff.   “How to Harvest Milkweed Seeds”    Asters, Joe Pye Weed, Goldenrod and other fluffy seeds should be separated from the stems and leaves.  This can be done easily by holding the stems upside down in the bag and hitting against the sides of the bag.

If you have a large quantity of seed, such as grasses or asters, you may bring them in one large bag and let folks help themselves.  Very small seeds or rare species should be divided into smaller quantities to allow more people an opportunity to sample them.  Package your seeds in envelopes or paper bags and please label them with Latin name and common name if possible.  Very small seeds of less common species should be packaged in small coin envelopes available at office supply stores.  You can also bring them in a jar or other container and provide a scoop or spoon so others can easily take a small amount.   We will have some coin envelopes on hand at the event as well as lunch-size paper bags and junk mail envelopes.  Bring empty bags, envelopes or containers in which to place the seeds you choose to take home and a tote bag to carry them.   Be sure to mark your tote bag with your name so someone else doesn’t accidentally take it home with them.

Silent Auction and Raffle

If you have something appropriate to donate for the auction or raffle, please bring that along.  Items should be garden related – preferably native garden.  Books and posters in good condition, art objects, garden tools, bird feeders, etc.  Also, consider contacting one or two businesses to ask for a donation for the auction and raffle.  The same guidelines apply here.  Be sure to get names and addresses of businesses who donate so we can give them recognition and thank them in our newsletter. 

Share Your Photos and Posters

If you have photos or a poster display of your yard, bring them before 9am.  There will be an area set up to show off our yards to other attendees.  This always makes for an interesting exhibit.

Potluck Refreshments

Coffee will be served.  Please bring a snack, finger food or drink to share.  This way, we will have some refreshments for everyone. 

Comments are closed.