KITCHENER -- Despite the snow piled outside, people are starting to think about their gardens.

An Elora woman has launched a community seed exchange program to get people excited about spring.

"I love picking my seeds every year, getting excited about gardening season to come," said Karry Sawatsky, who started gardening five years ago.

She started the seed exchange program to stay in touch with other gardeners.

"It's a great way for us to stay connected, even though we're not connected," she said.

People can mail or drop off up to 30 seed packets of vegetables, herbs or flowers at the Elora Brewing Company. They'll receive different seeds in return by March 1.

"It's been great," Sawatsky said. "I got sweet little notes from people with their seed packets, saying 'Thanks so much for organizing this and lifting me out of my funk.' It's been such a great idea, I'm looking forward to seeing what I'll get."

Kayla Clayton gave 10 packets of purple morning glories.

"This pandemic has definitely been very hard on myself and everybody around," she said. "I found gardening has been my relief through some of it so far and I can't wait to start gardening more."

Sawatsky also hopes it will help with biodiversity, since people will have different plants growing in their gardens.

"Instead of just having one particular variety of peas or just a couple different types of tomatoes, we're really expanding the growth of particular heirloom seeds," she said.