Have a look at a beautiful and creative endeavor: The Hudson Valley Seed Library.
In their own words, The Hudson Valley Seed Library strives to do two things:
- to create an accessible and affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that is maintained by a community of caring farmers and gardeners; and,
- to create gift-quality seed packs featuring works designed by New York artists in order to celebrate the beauty of heirloom gardening.
Farmers Doug Muller and Ken Greene dreamed of creating an “accessible and affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that is maintained by a community of caring gardeners.” Hence they formed a company that sells seeds from its own farm as well as those grown by other local farmers. Gardeners are encouraged to save and share their own seeds too.
If you’re a member of the seed library, you get discounts on seed packs and events, plus ten seed packs. Members also can return seeds to the seed library in exchange for a discount on next year’s membership. The seed library offers information on seed saving, classes and workshops.
In 2011, they expect to offer over 60 varieties of locally grown seed and around 100 varieties sourced from responsible seed houses. The company contracts with organic and certified naturally grown farmers in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York to grow new varieties. Most of their varieties are rooted in the history and soils of New York or are chosen because they do well in that zone, but of course they can be used in other zones as well.
They offer a membership program to backyard gardeners who are interested in joining the cause.
The art on the seed packets is chosen from the submissions of over 70 artists. They’re from the Hudson Valley and New York City. As the website explains, artists range from “up-and-coming to world renowned. The diversity of the artwork reflects the many stories behind each variety and the genetic wonder that makes each plant unique.”
When the packets are folded, the main art piece ends up on the front, and the back is sealed with a sticker.
Viewing some of the packets is like a mini tour through an art gallery! Enjoy. (artist listed under the piece)
Tuck one of these packages into a gift, or make a gift of an assortment.
A bonus with these fun seed packets is that when they’re empty, you can recycle them for wrapping small gifts like jewelry.
Please let us know about any seed libraries or seed saver groups in your area.