“An exchange is a great way to support gardeners in our community by providing a platform to discuss the current growing season, and an opportunity to gather and trade a variety of seeds,” said Karminder Brown, San Benito Bounty co-chair.


Slow Food San Benito Bounty promotes the appreciation and consumption of seasonal and local foods, and supports the farmers, ranchers and gardeners who produce them. 


The more than 30 attendees took home warm-season vegetable, cool-season vegetable, annual and perennial seeds as well as potted plants and cuttings. Seeds of Change, and Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply donated a variety of flower and vegetable seeds to the event. 


“We are very thankful for such generous donations,” Brown said. “We also secured a donation of flower, herb and vegetable seeds, from Renee’s Garden Seeds, that will be planted in school and community gardens.” The donated seeds will be shared with the children’s garden at Vista Hill Park, the Migrant Preschool, R.O. Hardin Elementary School, Sunnyslope Elementary School, Spring Grove School, Cerra Vista Elementary School, Hollister Dual Language Academy and San Benito High School’s life skills class, Brown explained. 


Shawn Novack, water conservation program manager at the Water Resources Association of San Benito County, shared water-wise gardening tips at the event. Novack explained the importance of grouping plants with similar water needs while designing home landscapes. He also reminded attendees that the Water Resources Association offers free irrigation evaluations. 


For those looking to advance their tomato gardens, San Benito Bounty board member Diane Matarangas demonstrated how to plant tomato seeds in biodegradable seed starters.

Here is a link to some tips from Matarangas.


Slow Food San Benito Bounty’s Seed and Plant Exchange was hosted at a private residence on March 2, 2014. The organization hosts events throughout the year including farm tours, volunteer days and potluck celebrations. 


Past events have included a Blenheim apricot celebration with U-pick apricots and cobbler-baking demo, a tour of the Hain Ranch Organics poultry and walnut farm, and a wood-fired pizza and tomato tasting hosted by Penny Lane Farm.  San Benito Bounty also partners with Comstock Community Farm, which provides hands-on educational opportunities to Hollister area families while raising organic vegetables for donation to the Community Food Pantry.


For more information on Slow Food San Benito Bounty visit the chapter’s Facebook page at If you would like to get involved with San Benito Bounty email