HARKER HEIGHTS — To commemorate National Seed Swap Day, the Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department hosted a seed and plant swap Saturday at the Activities Center.

Sarah Mylcraine, activities specialist, and the brains behind the exchange, said she wanted to put something like this together for a while.

“This is an awesome opportunity for our local gardeners to come out and try something new,” she said. “I’m hoping people use this as a way to get a head start on their spring gardens.”

Several garden-related vendors lined the perimeter of the room offering tips and advice to those with green thumbs and to beginners.

In the center, four tables were set up for participants to place their seeds, bulbs and clippings.

Tables were dedicated to herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers and plants.

“I came to share my seeds with others and to get some new seeds and clippings,” said Kelly Seals, a Killeen resident. “I enjoy turning a blank slate into something beautiful, and this event is just a wonderful idea.” Because the Texas weather can be such a roller coaster ride, Seals said her garden at home is made up of containers and pots.

“This way, when the weather turns, I can easily move them inside,” she said of her leafy plants and roses.

Paulin and Carmen Olvera, both Killeen residents, attended the swap to grow their knowledge base.

“I attend all of the gardening education classes and wanted to see what was available in the community,” he said, depositing his contribution to the swap, several aloe vera plant clippings. “I wanted to get more knowledge about plants so I can be a more successful gardener.”

Garden State native turned Harker Heights resident Charlotte Maindelle came to get some advice from vendors on how to make her organic garden grow.

“This will by my first year going for it in Texas, and I’m hoping to grow several new vegetables this year,” she said, adding that she will try her hand at okra, spinach and carrots this spring. “I go to a lot of gardening classes and I read a lot and this seed swap is just another tool I can utilize to make me a better organic gardener.”

vlynch@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

Contact Vanessa Lynch at vlynch@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7567.

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