‘Seed Swaps’ continue at Green Lents Tool Library

What’s a ‘seed swap’? And where’s the Green Lents Tool Library? If you’re an outer East Portland garden enthusiast, but don’t know these answers, you really need to read this story. There’s another one coming up in May

In the driveway of the Green Lents Tool Library, another “Seed Swap” gets underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After starting up for the year on the second Saturday in March, the Green Lents Tool Library was open for their second-ever “Seed Swap” on April 9.

Since the Tool Library is hosting monthly “Seed Swaps” through June, one might think that their “library of tools” are just gardening implements. Not true! From automotive to carpentry tools to ladders and safety equipment, the available range of devices to borrow is amazing.

Ready to help patrons are volunteer Tool Librarians Jennifer Berg and Allie Johnson.

Welcoming visitors at a table filled with resource information here’s Kristin Berger – Program Director and Administrator of “Green Lents”.

“These ‘Seed Swap’ days were a response, back in 2020, to the onset of the COVID-19 coronavirus, when people were really concerned about having enough food – especially in the greater Lents area, where food security was already an issue,” recalled Green Lents Program Director and Administrator Kristin Berger.

“People had a more time on their hands, and wanted to start their own garden,” Berger told East Portland News. “Because it has been ‘well used’, we’ve continued having this as a monthly resource.

“This gets people into the habit of thinking about planting year-round – and then saving their seeds, knowing that they can help support each other, because seeds and starts can be very expensive these days,” Berger pointed out.

These attendees were “shopping” for seeds at the April event.

“We provide some plant starts, and some seeds; but we encourage people to bring in their own clean, organic, non-GMO seeds, and organic starts to these events – as well as unused gardening tools and supplies – to share with others,” explained Berger. “And, you aren’t required to bring something to swap, to participate!”

These gatherings, like the Tool Library itself, are a free resource for people who live in East Portland, assured Berger.

Green Lents’ Dasha Foerster shows off one of two gift baskets, door prizes provided by Portland Nursery in a free drawing they hold on “Seed Swap” days.

“It’s not only for Lents residents, but our service area extends as far north as NE Halsey Street; and covers the Montavilla, Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta and Brentwood-Darlington neighborhoods – in addition to Hazelwood, Mill Park, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Pleasant Valley, and of course, the Lents neighborhood.” she said.

“The best thing that can come out of these events is putting plants in hand, and seeds in hand, of people wanting to start their gardens – and that’s what actually happens,” concluded Berger, as she stepped away to help another guest.

Green Lents Tool Library
9215 SE Ramona Street, 97266

Wednesdays from 6-8pm
Saturdays from 10am-1pm
CLICK HERE to open their website

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™




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