Greenville Seed Library seeks to save and share seeds

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A seed library is being launched at the Greenville Public Library to save and share seeds that thrive in this region. Courtesy of Pexels

                                                                                                                                                            GREENVILLE — Do you have a delicious tomato variety that your great aunt used to grow? Or a bean variety that does great in our unpredictable weather of the Northeast? You can save and bring those seeds to the seed library at the Greenville Library! 

The goal of the program is to get the community involved in saving and sharing heirloom flower and vegetable seeds in a seed library.

What is the purpose of a seed library? Seeds from the plant world are an essential part of our existence here on this planet. Without them, we would not have much of the things many of us consume on a daily basis. 

There are hundreds of thousands of varieties of seeds on the planet, and each time we save a seed, we are saving the genetic information of a variety of plant that can successfully live in our type of environment. 

When we go to a big-box store and buy seeds or plants, we are not always buying an open pollinated, heirloom variety that is true to the type of seed it will produce. It is important to be sure that you buy non-GMO, heirloom, organic varieties that you can collect seeds from, according to the group. Smaller growers and companies that are dedicated to practicing safe and sound growing principles are the places you want to get seeds and plants.

Here is an example of what saving seeds could look like. You plant 10 calendula flowers (a good remedy for all kinds of health ailments) during a very hot and dry season that had an unusually high infestation of flea beetles. All of the plants seemed to suffer under the environmental stress, except for one plant that grew strong and vibrant, despite the conditions. Be sure to harvest only a few flowers from that plant and let them mature to produce seeds to save.

Organizers of the Greenville Seed Library want those strong genetics to live on in the seed you saved. It is important to save seeds to help nature ensure the survival of plant varieties that will in turn, help all living beings survive and thrive.

Every Fall when dedicated gardeners harvest seeds, they are amazed by the tremendous generosity of Mother Nature. That single seed planted in the spring has now produced dozens, if not hundreds, of seeds to save and plant in the future. 

Organizers of the Greenville Seed Library want to keep seed varieties alive that thrive in this climate of the Northeast.

“After traveling the world for many years with my husband Peter and our daughter Bella, we have made our home here in Freehold, NY,” said organizer Ashley Jensen. “I have made it one of my goals to learn about and grow as many different plants from seed in my greenhouse. I love the learning process of growing different seed varieties to help them thrive.”

“I have decided to share the seeds I’ve saved with the Greene County community,” Buel continued. “Along with Barbara Flach, director of the Greenville Library, fellow farmer Jackie Spencer and members of the Clematis Garden Club, Terry Buel, Diana Marshall and Deb Teator, we have begun the process of establishing the seed catalog. My hope is that these seeds and those of the community will get into the hands (and gardens) of people who will ensure the success of future seed generations.”

 Seed library organizers are asking for people that would like to help with this project. Assistance is needed for packaging and cataloging seeds and growing information in the old card catalog of the Greenville Library.

The seed library will have a place at the Greenville Public Library for people to drop off their seeds and write a little information about the variety, or to sign up and volunteer with this project.

Contact Ashley Jensen at surprisehillfarm@gmail.com for more information.

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