Kent Ohio Food Not Lawns 1st Annual Seed Swap


1st Annual Seed Swap

Kent Free Library
312 West Main Street
Kent, OH 44240
Upstairs Meeting Room

March 7, 2015 – 11 AM to 2 PM

Bring your saved and leftover purchased seeds to trade with others

Come meet other gardeners in the community and make some new gardening friends.

Donated seed will be available for those without seeds to trade.

Please bring a potluck dish to share.

Email with any questions

Tierra Verde Farms tour

The Snarky Gardener toured Tierra Verde Farms, his favorite place to buy quality food, including grass fed beef, free range chickens and nitrate free pork.
A curious cow.

Tierra Verde Farms (which roughly translates to Green Acres) is a local farm we discovered through a pamphlet at my doctor’s office of all places. A group of us from Kent Ohio Food Not Lawns showed up on a Sunday afternoon to get a personalized 2 hour tour from the owner, Mike Jones. We started in his store front as he explained that his farm is designed based on Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms system of rotational grazing with chickens pasturing after cows, etc. It was easy to see from his presentation that Mike considers the animals part of his family, with all the emotions and attachments that entails.

One of these is Maynard, our Thanksgiving turkey

After our talk, we started the walking part of the tour with the Thanksgiving turkeys. The Snarky Gardener had ordered one a few months back and wanted to meet him/her personally.  We found them gobbling away out in the pasture.  They came up to us as we looked like people with food.  Sorry guys, no food here!  Trying to find our specific turkey was impossible as they didn’t have name tags.

Chicken tractor

From the turkeys we moved onto the meat chickens.  They were housed in “chicken tractors” that are moved every day so the chickens can get fresh stuff to eat.  Mike’s tractors were very well designed as they had automatic waterers and lots of fencing to keep out predators (hawks, coyotes, etc.).  Would love to have a smaller version here at Snarky Acres but I think that’s a few years away.

Foraging pigs. The pink ones are for Easter hams.

Next on the agenda were the pigs.  They were fenced in under a stand of trees as pigs are forest dwellers in nature.  With this type of farm, it’s very important that the animals get to be themselves as much as possible so they are happy.  These pigs are able root in the mud and eat plenty of forage, including acorns and other nuts, just like they would in the wild.  Mike let us go in to see the pigs closeup though I think his idea was to give the pigs people to play with as they kept nipping at the back of our shoes.


From the pigs we moooooved onto the beef cow pasture.  Beautiful brown cows welcomed us by staying together as a herd and looking at us warily.  Cows are herd animals and their ancestors survived by keeping together.  These particular cows are hybrids, which helps them be productive, much like an F1 plant has hybrid vigor (an interesting concept in the least).

Egg Laying Chickens
Egg Laying Chickens


Our final stop on the tour was the egg laying chickens.  They were truly free range with a portable trailer coop to lay eggs and receive shelter.  The chickens have been trained to come in by a certain time before the automatic door leaves them out in the cold and vulnerable to predation.   Mike told us that after the chickens reach two years old he sells them off for $5 a piece to home egg producers.  These older hens don’t produce as many eggs per week (3 to 4 versus 6 for younger chickens), but for a home raiser that should be plenty.  Never thought of buying a used egg chicken before (hmmmmm).

If you are interested in learning more or purchasing some produce (but not Maynard, he’s ours), please visit their website

KFNL March 2014 Newsletter

Seed swapping with Food Not Lawns Cleveland

January and February have provided fun and education for members of KFNL.  We started out with an “Informational Meeting” at the Kent Free Library where a dozen or so people showed up to see what we were all about.  Discussions ranged from bees to mushrooms to yard gardening.  In February, we had 4 events – a social dinner at Mike’s Place (with a lot more interesting discussion), a seed swap with Food Not Lawns Cleveland, a GMO film, and a Kent Community TimeBank informational meeting.

This month we have quite a few meetups scheduled.  Scheduled at this time is backyard bee keeping on March 15, a seed starting “party” with FNLC and a KFNL social gathering on March 22, and a TimeBank Informational meeting on March 9.  I’m also looking into a FREE apple pruning seminar the last Saturday of March and will let you know if it firms up.

We are planning a plant swap in May.  Don’t have a place or time yet but it will be during the day on a weekend in Kent.

I’ve been very happy with the participation we’ve had so far, and will continue to have interesting and fun meetups for the group.

Don Abbott – Kent Food Not Lawns


Informational Meeting Recap – January 26, 2014

There was a nice turn out even though the weather did not want to work with us. Everyone shared some of the things they are interested in hearing about. They also shared some of their favorite books and sites they found helpful. Links will be added to help you find the information easier.

If you have not read the book yet please check it out… Food not Lawns – check it out from your local library or here it is on Amazon and here is the 13 digit ISBN to give you an opportunity to find it elsewhere 978-1933392073.  The book gives some helpful information that you can start putting into place this year.

We plan on doing some of the experiments and projects in conjunction with the Kent Community Time Bank –If you are interested in finding out more about the organization please go to (the main page is all you will be able to see until you become a member – information protection for the members) their potlucks are the first Friday of each month. Next upcoming is February 7th. The next informational meeting to allow you to sign up and be a member will be held February 20th.  Once you sign up and are approved please go in and put Kent Food Not Lawns introduced you to the organization. The KFNL organization will get time credits for those that sign up. Those time credits will help with getting hall rental time, printing, and so much more.

The Cleveland Food Not Lawns had to cancel their seed swap due to weather. Once we hear of the new date, we will let you all know.

The Kent seed swap will be announced soon. Don is still working out the details with the time bank. Plan on sometime in March or April. More details will be coming soon.  Start writing down what you have to trade as well, what you want to get for your garden. Unusual Items that were brought up; Jerusalem Artichokes and Mulberry tree starts

Seed envelops different options to consider   –


Money envelopes – ask your bank for some money envelopes but remember to put tape over the flap so the seeds won’t escape

Or just regular mail envelopes.


Make your own: here is one I had found awhile back great if you like to do a little scrapbooking you need paper, printer, and a glue stick or do a Google search for seed envelopes and find the perfect one for you.

Ok I will spend a little:

Staples has coin envelopes

A great book that is about seed saving is The Seed Underground.

Why save seeds you ask? Those seeds are best because you know where they came from and you know what they have been through. These seeds have grown in our climate they are a little hardier then you would get from ones taken from plants in Georgia or South Carolina would be.

The Plant swap will be in May or June – still working on the details of when and where. More details will be coming soon.

There will be a monthly food swap starting in June. Gardens will start producing and those attending can have the food they grow incorporated into their item/items they will be bringing and the swap will be based on local, healthy foods. Here is a link of another food swap in the area that Don and I attend. (If you find a great recipe save it and make it for one of the swaps. That amazing Vegan Chocolate Torte Rochelle made is a great example) People make desserts, breads, canned goods, wines, you name it… Look at what you have growing or producing – fruits, vegetables, milk, honey, etc and then find your favorite or even experiment on what you want to make for the swap. You split it up in what would be $5 portions.

First monthly gathering will be Sunday, February 23rd at Mike’s Place Corner of 43 and 261. Open discussion great way to find out what one another knows.

Tom and Crhis put out a great beekeeping Meetup down in Canton it will be March 15th. Don posted the training classes and it is available to sign up. The contact number to sign up is 330-455-5482

2 books Tom suggested on beekeeping:  These are what I found on Amazon

Natural Beekeeping –

Backyard Beekeeping –

Information members have shared they would be interested in

Bee Keeping – Tom and Crhis have already set that in motion – see above and check out the Meetup website.

Pruning a fruit tree – Don will be checking with Stotler’s Orchard in Atwater – information coming soon.

Master Gardeners discussion – we have been working with someone we know right now to get that set up .

Permaculture – we are working with someone we know to get that set up also.

Growing Mushrooms  –

Here are some of the side discussions we had away from the agenda but interesting none the less…

Jeff brought up about where he gets his garlic. The place is in Hudson and here is the link (they are out of garlic at this time but still other garlic related products.)

Rain gutter wicking here is a you tube video showing what one guy did:

We are going to order for the group from The seeds chosen are based on our zone and region.  It costs $25.00 for them to ship the order. Having just started the organization, there are no funds built up yet. I will have a donation box at the seed swap for anyone willing throw a buck in the kitty to defray the cost from Don paying out of his pocket.

Did you know community gardens usually only go from May to October? There is so much that you can grow through out the year – indoors and out!

Pinterest is a great site for finding anything. If you haven’t made an account yet for yourself, I strongly suggest one. It allows you to have a cyber bulletin board you can categorize.

Great gardening sites that a few suggested:

Permies –

Johnny Seed –

Aerogarden –

Helpful links

Don A.
Carol G
Jeff B
Tom M
Tom P
Crhis P
Elizabeth K
Breanna F
Rochelle W
Justin W