Transition Horsham’s Annual Seed Swap

Transition Horsham’s Annual Seed Swap 

It’s spring!  Well, nearly …we have some snowdrops out and it’s just glorious to see them.  It is at least the promise that spring is on the way, and it’s not just us humans who appreciate the flowers-the insects also appreciate the life-giving nectar in these early blossoms.

If you’re a gardener, you’ll be thinking of what seeds you’ll plant this year too, and Sussex Green Hub’s next meeting on 24th February can help you with that, as Transition Horsham will be hosting their annual Seed Swap.

The inspirational woodsman, Clive Cobie will be present to chat about his own experiments with producing aerated compost tea to activate a special type of charcoal which can be used to bring poor soils back to life. Its role is to accelerate the proliferation of microbes in the soil.  He describes ‘bio-char’ as being like a coral reef for the soil.  Microscopic life is not just nice to have, it’s an essential for bugs and bigger creatures which depend on it, and we all know we need to increase the biodiversity which helps sustain the whole web of life. Indeed, George Monbiot tells us in his book Regenesis, that crop yields are on average 25% higher in fields with earthworms than fields without.

Clive lives in woodland locally and sustainably, and as well as bio-char and compost tea, he is a passionate coppicer, producer of pea sticks and green wood chip for local allotments. His Woodland Days encourage people to learn in a hands-on way, along with practical woodworking skills.

The Transition team can also help with advice and tips. They have a community allotment on the HDC-owned Chesworth Allotment Site.  They share the work and the produce, and it’s ideal if you’re a beginner as you can learn on the job by working alongside others, rather than having a whole plot yourself.  For the more ambitious, there are ten allotment sites in Horsham so there may be an available one near you if you’d like to try it out. 

Saving seed each year helps preserve old and unusual varieties which may be sidelined by garden centres and big companies, so when you come to this month’s Hub, bring along your packets of seeds, clearly labelled with the seed variety and collection date.  You might find some treasure in the form of new-to-you types of seed to try out.  You’ll have the opportunity to pick people’s brains as they willingly share tried and tested tips for low-impact ways of growing food sustainably on local clay soils.

The wonderful Community Fridge volunteers will also be present as usual as part of our 2024 mission to stop food waste.  Supermarkets offer us their excess fresh food items for residents to take home at no cost, at United Reformed Church, Worthing Road, RH12 2RG On February 24th 2024 10:00-3:00.

There are two working parties each week at the community allotment.  For further information, email .

By Alison Marshall

Transition Horsham