Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hudson Valley Seed Library

It's time to think about the garden!

The Horticulture Society of New York is very pleased to announce we now carry seeds from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. We are currently the only Manhattan resource for these open-air pollinated, heirlooms seeds. Ken Greene and Doug Muller have been working diligently to bring seeds that are proven successful for our area to the gardeners of the greater New York region. Learn more about their operation which is located in the picturesque Hudson Valley.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library strives to do two things:

  1. to create an accessible and affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that is maintained by a community of caring gardeners; and,
  2. to create gift-quality seed packs featuring works designed by New York artists in order to celebrate the beauty of heirloom gardening.

In 2010, we will be offering over twenty-five varieties of locally grown seed. Most of our varieties are rooted in the history and soils of New York or are chosen because they do well here. Every year we plan on growing additional varieties on the Seed Library farm and contracting with organic and certified naturally grown farmers in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York to grow even more varieties. Our membership program provides a way for backyard gardeners to make a vital contribution to this effort. By 2014, we aim to be 100% New York grown.

Who are the people behind the Seed Library? The farm and business are run by partners Ken Greene (on right in photo) and Doug Muller (on left). Our friend Linda-Brook Guenther of Back to Basics helps us regulary with seed-packing, organizing, order processing, and farm work. We are often helped by other folks, including Nancy Campbell Muller, Aileah Kvashay, Jacinta Bunnell, Carrie Schapker, Michael Asbill, Peg Lotvin, and lots of other good people in the Hudson Valley.

Our Library Packs contain seed that was grown by member farmers and gardeners. For 2010, the majority of the seeds were grown here at our own farm in Accord, New York. In coming seasons we hope to offer seeds grown by a network of participating farmers in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York, each of whom contributes one or two varieties of heirloom seed to the library.

Our Garden Packs contain seed that was obtained from wholesale seed suppliers. Over the next several years we hope to dramatically decrease our reliance on these suppliers in favor of local growers.

Our Art Packs are each designed by a different artist from the greater New York region (this includes upstate New York, the Hudson Valley, the City, Northern New Jersey, and Connecticut). Each pack celebrates the beauty inherent in heirloom gardening. Click here to see all the art packs and to learn more.

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