By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This time of year, lots of gardeners are thinking about seeds. Not just leafing through seed catalogs and dreaming about what to plant when the ground thaws, but also saving, sorting and swapping seeds.

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Keeping and sharing seeds not only saves you money, it helps to preserve and propagate plants, and also connects us to our past, future, and to one another.

Starting January 20th and into early February, the Hardy Plant Society can use your help to clean and sort seeds on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am to 2:30 pm at the Henry Foundation in Gladwyne, PA.

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Because these seed cleaning workshops are notorious for coinciding with some of the worst winter weather, this year, if you sign up to go you’ll know if you should still show by checking their homepage – – for snow-status each workshop day after 8 AM, or calling 215-483-2650.

And on Saturday, January 24 there’s a seed saving, sorting, swapping and cleaning workshop at Bartram’s Garden. From 10 am to 12 pm enjoy a presentation and workshop, then there’s a lunch break and seed swap from 12 pm to 1 pm, followed from 1 pm to 4 pm by a volunteer seed cleaning project where you can help out. Just in case, the snow date for the Bartram’s event is January 31.

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You don’t need to know anything to volunteer at these seed workshops, but you can learn a lot, make friends, and have fun thinking about all the pretty plants that will sprout from the seeds in your hands.