• Sean Friel

Green Committee, Permaculture Club host ‘seed swap’


Amy Menzel and Damon Smith swapping seeds at the event held in the Canoe Club. (THG/Sean Friel. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

On March 2, the Hammonton Green Committee hosted an event alongside the Hammonton Permaculture Club. The event was called “seed swap” where many people could come and check out some of the seeds that the community has to offer. Hammonton Green Committee Chair Amy Menzel was at the event, helping people with whatever they needed, and mingling with different members of the committee. Menzel, along with the other members of the committee, has been working towards putting together a seed library. The seed library has the goal of trying to get as many different seeds as possible, creating a diverse collection.


“All different ones … things you don’t really know about …we just started this spring, these seed companies are incredibly generous … we have plenty to start us off and we’re hoping people will donate other ones [seeds],” Menzel said.


The seed library currently has seeds for squash, radishes, carrots, beets, basil, watermelon and more. The seed library has tiny packets of a few seeds in them because most people don’t need an entire packet of seeds.


“People really don’t need a whole thing of it, so that’s the idea of it,” Menzel said.


Many attended the seed swap, which was held on March 2. (THG/Sean Friel. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

The idea is to give a few seeds and gain a few seeds. A few other people were present handing out seeds, including Fermented, Thin Place Farms and Damon Smith from Gloves on the Ground. Smith had some interesting seeds, which he called “conflict seeds.”


“I grow from areas of war and violent conflict, to rehumanize the place … I want to give people an image of not to forget, but also that a person from Afghanistan can come into my garden or a person that served in Afghanistan can come in and have a similar healing effect. It’s my peace and unity revival garden,” Smith said.


Smith uses gardening to ease his mind, while also remembering others. He collects these seeds to not only help himself but to say sorry for the lives lost as well.


“There was a little girl that came into our camp, and she had a sore on her leg … I was 18 years old at the time, so 27 years later, looking at this I don’t have to read the description. The first year I grew it … not to make up for being there … but just to say, I know your life was lost to this … and I’m sorry,” Smith said.


Smith has been an avid gardener for years but recently started the “conflict seeds.” He believes that this can be done for everyone and can help people around the world.


“In 2018, I started my Facebook page, and I said, well I can do that for everyone … even Mexico I am including this year because of the drug war,” Smith said.


Smith even had squash from Ukraine present at the seed swap.


The “seed swap” was a big success for the Hammonton Green Committee, bringing in some outside garden lovers to teach and swap seeds with one another. For more information on the Green Committee and their events, head over to their Facebook page or visit hammontongreencommittee.com.