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

After a very long cold winter, many are looking forward to spring and getting outside. Gardening is a wonderful way to supply healthy nutritional food to family and friends along with some needed exercise. The Centers for Disease Control recommends at least two-three hours of physical activity each week. By gardening (standing) for 30-45 minutes you can burn 150 calories. Increased physical activity reduces your risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, cancer and premature death.

Individuals interested in gardening — whether experienced or just starting out — are invited to participate in a heirloom “seed swap” from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the Texas County Health Department, 950 N. U.S. 63, Houston. The program will be extremely informal so come as you are. There will be a demonstration by Marie Lasater, author of “Nature Has the Cure,” concerning uses for food that would normally be discarded, along with associated health benefits. People will be allowed five minutes to share their story and up to five seed types, then we will have an open forum and folks can mingle/trade with whom they like. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner gardener as there will be old veterans more than happy to share.

Seed swaps are a great way to bring awareness to gardening. There are many advantages to getting locally grown seeds that are acclimated to our local soils/weather/pests. A lot of people are becoming more interested in where their food comes from. Growing your own lets you decide how much fertilizer or chemicals to use or allow you to go chemical free. It guarantees you the freshest foods possible on your dinner plate. It allows you to plant types that seeds can be saved and grown next year. Many of these have flavors and qualities not found in modern hybrids or genetically modified plants. So let’s get together and share stories, traditions and seeds and begin planning that garden. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the health department at 417-967-4131. 

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