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Old 03-14-2019, 09:58 PM
KBee KBee is offline
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My wife and I had our first successful seed library event this month.

We have been discussing getting this project off the ground for a couple of years now, so it was a great feeling to see it come together.

A community seed library is a system that is designed to collect and distribute seed packets to patrons. We are working to integrate our seed library into the local branch of our public library.

We had about 75 varieties of different seeds that we had saved from our garden and donated seed that was made available to the patrons. The seeds were organized into photo cases that each held smaller cases for mini-packets (small craft ziplock bags) for each type of vegetable. Here are some examples of the cases from Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Novelinks-Tra...P7S7Z61R3P6RW8

The seeds were divided up into the cases and mini-packets at a previous event we organized with a group of local volunteers and friends. it took about 3 hours to get the packets ready.

There were about 50 families or individuals that came through the seed library event. We limited the number of packets to 10 per person, so we gave out 500+ packets of seeds.

This was a great way to meet new people in our small community that are interested in growing at least some of their food. Now we are going to open up the seed library to take donations from all the patrons interested in distributing their own saved seeds. This way we can expand the collection and learn more about locally adapted and favorite seed varieties.

Going forward, we will host more seed swap events at the library (probably 1 each month in the spring) and another in the early fall for garlic and other fall-planted crops.

There are quite a few examples of seed libraries that have been established around the country. Do a quick search and you can find some great examples if you are interested in starting a project in your own area.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:08 AM
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Sorta like a home-spun "Seed Saver Exchange"?

Seems to me thats how they got their start. Or maybe it was another lesser known group. Nonetheless, great idea and kudos to you for putting forth the effort to get that done. Its a great concept, and as you indicated, getting seed from other volunteers can really help diversify the genetics. Its one thing to save, lets say a single cucumber for seed. But if you want good diversity, you need to save several cucumbers from several plants, and mix up the seeds.

Im really curious how you got the word out?
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:22 AM
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Great idea and I hope it gets a lot of participation! Are you accepting donations of seeds bought in packets? I'm thinking of someone who bought a packet of x and, for whatever reason, the produce just wasn't something they'd want to do again. Someone else might like it just fine. And donating it would be better than just throwing them away.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by FarmerChad View Post
Sorta like a home-spun "Seed Saver Exchange"?

Seems to me thats how they got their start. Or maybe it was another lesser known group. Nonetheless, great idea and kudos to you for putting forth the effort to get that done. Its a great concept, and as you indicated, getting seed from other volunteers can really help diversify the genetics. Its one thing to save, lets say a single cucumber for seed. But if you want good diversity, you need to save several cucumbers from several plants, and mix up the seeds.

Im really curious how you got the word out?
Thank you very much!

Yes - like a local/regional version of SSE. We have been working with the administrator of the county library system, and suggested that they look at our branch as a model for recruiting volunteers at other branches within the county. We'll see how it goes and what they decide to do.

A local facebook community group was a big help in getting the word out. Word of mouth from interested people, and flyers at the library and the businesses along our main street did the rest.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Weedinhoe View Post
Great idea and I hope it gets a lot of participation! Are you accepting donations of seeds bought in packets? I'm thinking of someone who bought a packet of x and, for whatever reason, the produce just wasn't something they'd want to do again. Someone else might like it just fine. And donating it would be better than just throwing them away.
Thank you!

Yes - we will be accepting seed from commercial sources as well as home-saved seed.

I am personally more interested in the saved seed, but I see the benefit of offering seed from patrons with packets that they want to share/donate. I am fine with people donating hybrid seed, too. There are plenty of reasons to grow with hybrids (vigor, disease resistance, etc...), but we will let people know that returning seed saved from hybrid varieties is not what we are looking for in the seed library.

One of the most common requests for seed that we did not have at the first event was for cherry tomato varieties. I usually grow Super-sweet 100 or Sungold cherry tomatoes (or both) in a given year. The requests motivated me to order some open-pollinated cherry tomato seeds. I've got some Sungold Select and Indigo Rose plants started now. These are both open-pollinated types, so I will be able to offer them next year. I will be surprised if we don't end up with other cherry tomato seed donated by other patrons, as well.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:59 PM
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I know your interested in locally adapted seeds, and getting enough variety might be a challenge... let me ask this:

Would you be interested in accepting seeds from a small scale organic grower, clear over here in NC? Hint hint..

If the Lunchbox Peppers yield as well as expected, I should have a whole bunch of seed. I would be more then willing to send some. They seem to germinate fine at lower temps, and have been outpacing my other varieties. Which might be an asset.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:25 PM
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I'll have some OP and "comebacker" seeds in a few months.

I'd bee glad to donate also.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerChad View Post
I know your interested in locally adapted seeds, and getting enough variety might be a challenge... let me ask this:

Would you be interested in accepting seeds from a small scale organic grower, clear over here in NC? Hint hint..

If the Lunchbox Peppers yield as well as expected, I should have a whole bunch of seed. I would be more then willing to send some. They seem to germinate fine at lower temps, and have been outpacing my other varieties. Which might be an asset.
Absolutely interested! These first couple of years of building the collection will be important to try a good number of varieties to see what works best for people in the area. I will send you a PM and see if we can arrange a trade
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by n1d View Post
I'll have some OP and "comebacker" seeds in a few months.

I'd bee glad to donate also.
Thank you very much! I will send a PM and see if there is anything you are interested in, as well.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:07 PM
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Absolutely interested! These first couple of years of building the collection will be important to try a good number of varieties to see what works best for people in the area. I will send you a PM and see if we can arrange a trade
No trade necessary.

Im happy to send them this fall, if everything works out. This will be the first year of growing them out as saved seed, and im curious what the result will be. There is a lot mixed comments as to whether or not they are hybids. Some say yes, some say no.

Based on the pricing, you would think they are hybrids. But I have read a lot conflicting info. So, if they are stable, I will happily send some. Ill also reserve some for myself to continue growing them out.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:34 PM
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Thank you very much! I will send a PM and see if there is anything you are interested in, as well.
As FC stated no trade expected.........

Well, unless their is a mator' immune to nematodes
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:08 PM
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Thanks to you both - I appreciate the help in expanding our collection.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:04 PM
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New guy to this site. Does anyone have info. as to acquiring Burdock seeds?
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Old 03-27-2019, 10:58 AM
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Baker Creek offers seeds for a couple of different burdock varieties, I believe. Here is a link to a Japanese type:

https://www.rareseeds.com/burdock-takinogawa/

I have not tried to grow it intentionally. It usually volunteers as a weed in the garden, but I have not collected any seed.
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:34 PM
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We had our second Seed Library event this weekend at the local library branch. There was a lower turn-out than the first time, but we still had about 40 people come through and get seeds. That puts us up to about 140+ people that have received seeds. Hopefully we can get a small fraction to save seeds for next year and keep expanding the collection.

We also received seed donations from 3 of our local members in the last month. Some of the seeds were saved personally, and others were leftover commercial seed from packets they no longer needed. We were able to repack the donated seed so that these were also made available to the public.

Hoping to set up some garden tours later this spring and during the summer season.
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