The virtues of a simple seed: Gardeners exchange wisdom in Fall City | Photo gallery

Scott Moutney, left, and his wife Claudi Vagas, came to the seed exchange to select plants for their Redmond property.
Scott Moutney, left, and his wife Claudi Vagas, came to the seed exchange to select plants for their Redmond property. 'We'll try anything,' Mountney said
— image credit: Carol Ladwig/Staff Photo

They came for practical reasons, and for political ones, and they came by the dozens. Fall City's old Masonic Hall was crowded with gardeners last Saturday, Feb. 23, during Transition Snoqualmie Valley's third annual seed exchange, picking up seeds and advice from other local gardeners.

Jaymie Blatt of North Bend, a two-time participant this year, came prepared with her own seed bags and a permanent marker for labeling. Carey Thornton, a Tilth employee and Seattle resident, was there as a gardener first, but couldn't stop herself from extolling the virtues of a three-foot, curving Tromboncino squash. It can be eaten small, like zucchini, or after its skin turns golden and hard, like the butternut squash it resembles, she said, as she scooped a few seeds into a bag for herself.

Husband and wife team Scott Mountney and Claudia Vagas considered a variety of seeds to plant on their Redmond acreage, but Mountney was especially selective about one crop.

"Tomatoes will frustrate the (heck) out of you," he explained, and around him, people silently nodded.

Along with the seed swapping, participants could sit in on presentations on seed saving, herbs, and growing potatoes and tomatoes.

Learn more about Transition Snoqualmie Valley at

A large Tromboncino squash attracted people to one seed table, Seattle resident and Tilth gardener Carey Thornton.

Jerusalem artichoke in hand, Duvall gardener Jamie Roberts considers a box of the tubers, which includes another type of seed that resembles a large grub.

Jaymie Blatt, a North Bend resident, labels a packet of scarlet runner beans she just picked up at the Transition Snoqualmie Valley seed exchange Saturday, Feb. 23.

Presenter Silvermoon talks with visitors at her booth at the seed exchange Saturday. Later in the day, she gave a talk on "Living with our garden plants and herbs to create health and vitality."




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