A seed swap is planned for Houston, the Texas County Health Department announced.

The second annual Willow Springs Seed Swap and Garden Seminar is 4 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 23, at the historic Charles Ferguson building in downtown Willow Springs. It will be postponed in the event of inclement weather.

The event is designed to allow individuals to exchange free their “heirloom” or “heritage” garden seeds. Vegetable seeds are especially encouraged, but flowers and potatoes (sweet potatoes and white potatoes) to sprout also are welcome. Seeds must be non-hybrid and non-GMO. Family heirloom seeds are especially welcome. Seeds will be exchanged on a packet-for-packet basis, with beginners with no seeds to share five packets total. Seeds should be dry, clean and brought already divided and labeled in clear, see-through plastic zippered sandwich bags or something similar.

Gardeners should use their own judgment in determining how many seeds to place in a bag. Seeds saved from the 2012 or 2013 growing season are welcome. No guarantees are made for seed germination, but gardeners are encouraged to bring what they believe is good seed.

The garden seminar will feature four different one-hour classes. The schedule is:

• 4 p.m. – Growing herbs by Baker Creek Seeds expert Art Davidson.

• 5 p.m. – Raised bed and container gardening, lasagna gardening and vertical gardening by Marilyn Odneal, a horticulture adviser with the Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station.

• 5:50-6:20 p.m. – Dinner break.

• 6:20-7:10 p.m. – Natural sweeteners, with part of the class on beekeeping by Amy Patillo with the Howell County University of Missouri Extension office and part of the class on sorghum and maple sugaring.

• 7:15 p.m. – Small fruit gardening by Lou Wehmer

Concessions and drinks will be available. Some vendors also will be on hand. Event sponsors and door prizes are welcome. For more information, contact the Howell County News at 417- 469-1167 or 417-252-0935.

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