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Hudson Valley Seed Library

Heirloom Seeds

Seed Savers

Have you ever thought about where seeds come from? Who grows them? Who saves them?

Ken Green got into the seed-swapping business while working at a small town library in the Hudson Valley region of upstate New York. He became interested in the preservation of heirloom seeds and started a collection, using his cataloging skills to document locally grown seeds and make them available to members of his group, the Hudson Valley
Seed Library. Today, Ken and his partner Doug Muller are committed to their seed venture full time, offering heirloom alternatives to the seeds produced (often genetically modified) by large corporations.

A community of farmers and gardeners contribute locally grown seed, and Ken and Doug also bring in varieties from responsible wholesale seed houses. The Seed Library also has its own seed farm, where Ken and Doug try out new plants to test their hardiness.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library offers dozens of flowers, vegetables and kitchen herbs. An unexpected bonus is the artwork. Ken and Doug commission artists to design original artwork for many of their seed packs. The artwork on the packaging is eclectic and authentic -- just like the contents.

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Hudson Valley Seed Library - Heirloom Seeds

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Doug
    Doug

    My name is Doug, and I like to get seedy. Do you, too? I hope so!

    Today we invite all gardeners to try out the collections of Hudson Valley Seed Library seed packs featured by the Daily Grommet. Each includes a selection of Art Packs--our signature seed packaging. Our Art Packs are a colorful affirmation of the values our small company believes in: heirloom and open-pollinated seed, sustainable growing methods, exceptional eating quality, and regionally seed production. Each pack is designed by a different artist and includes within it an ample garden-sized amount of heirloom or open-pollinated vegetable, flower, or herb seed.

    Sow the seeds and frame the art!

    Got any questions about the art, the seed, the varieties, or our farm and business? I'll happily field them! Thanks for your support!

  • Dana Fisher
    Dana Fisher
    3/2/2012 1:06 PM

    Is this available for international shipment to the UK?

    Or would there be customs issues?

    Thanking you in advance,

    Dana

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    3/2/2012 1:21 PM

    @Dana Fisher: Unfortunately, Daily Grommet doesn't ship to the UK. I will ask Doug and if shipment to the UK is possible, I will put you two in touch directly.

  • Deborah
    Deborah
    3/2/2012 2:03 PM

    I am so excited about your company. I would like to know what seeds come in the variety pack? I know that there are six of each, but what six come in that pacK?

    Thank you,

    Deborah

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    3/2/2012 2:15 PM

    @Deborah : In the Mix-n-Match set, you get to choose the six you'd like to have.

  • Doug
    Doug – Special Guest
    3/2/2012 2:23 PM

    @Deborah: Thanks for your interest in the Seed Library! If I can be of any assistance in helping you choose varieties, please just let me know.

  • Gail Plaskiewicz
    Gail Plaskiewicz
    3/3/2012 2:18 AM

    I just went to a flower show in CT and bought quite a few of your seed packets. The art work on the packets are amazing and I am hoping the seeds and subsequently the actual flowers and veggies will be just as amazing. I can't wait to grow the colorful carrots, the popcorn and the broccoli. When I get stuff planted and it starts to grow, I will let you know how everything comes out.

  • Doug
    Doug – Special Guest
    3/4/2012 1:02 PM

    @Gail Plaskiewicz: Thanks for your support, Gail! Good luck in your garden this season!

  • Kristy
    Kristy
    3/4/2012 10:55 AM

    Oh how I long for a garden! I'm committed to giving it another chance this year and I'm so excited about your seeds. My question is ~ why so many seeds? 500? I know I can share but can I keep and use next year and the year after that? Or are these seeds for this year only? Thanks for your help. PS. Is the art for sale?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    3/4/2012 12:38 PM

    @Kristy: Great questions. Doug will stop back and let us know!

  • Doug
    Doug – Special Guest
    3/4/2012 1:07 PM

    @Kristy: Thanks for your question. We like to include enough seeds in each pack to allow for mistakes and to give enough seed for succession sowing and thinning. Keep your extra seeds cool and dry and they'll hold good germination rates into next year. (Some seeds will last even longer; it varies by species.)

    Limited edition signed prints of some of the pieces of art are for sale on our website.

    Good luck with your garden, and let me know if I can be of further assistance!

  • Stella Eelman
    Stella Eelman
    3/6/2012 8:19 PM

    Where are you in Hudson Valley - is it Highland? I'll be up that way the end of this month and would love to bring things back for our hardiness zone in Fl. Are visitors workable for you?

  • Doug
    Doug – Special Guest
    3/15/2012 10:48 AM

    @Stella Eelman: We'd love to have you visit us but we don't have a retail store. In addition to offering the Art Packs, we are also a seed farm and processor. The Hudson Valley Seed Library is still a young, growing business, and we use all resources currently to grow, source, process, pack and sell our seeds online. Please stop by and let us know how our seeds make out in Florida.

  • Danielle
    Danielle
    3/8/2012 12:58 PM

    I am thinking about ordering your seeds, but I am curious how they are sustainable versus GMO. Does that mean I can keep the seeds from the produce and replant them again. I know this doesn't work with GMO seeds. If these seeds can be replanted how do you do that with arugula and herbs? I would think zucchini and tomatoes are easy to figure out. but to make them sustainable can you tell me how to do that?

  • Doug
    Doug – Special Guest
    3/15/2012 10:44 AM

    @Danielle: Thank you for your interest & great question. The GMO seed issue is a complicated one. The issue with saving seeds from GMO is that it is illegal. Most seeds you would plant in the garden to eat are not genetically modified, however, many seed companies that sell garden seed are affiliated with companies that carry, sell and produce GMOs. We are not, and do not sell seed that come from or are affiliated with bio-tech companies.

    Most seeds we offer are organically grown or sustainably produced, meaning there are responsible practices being used in the growth and production of the seeds. We only offer open-pollinated seeds (all heirlooms are open-pollinated), meaning that if you use proper seed saving techniques (isolation being the main issue), you can save the seeds from your garden and plant them the next year. As a beginner, I advise you to start with a couple of varieties you want to save seed from and read as much as you can about seed saving for those vegetables. Each year, you can add something else.

    We have a blog on our website (www.seedlibrary.org/wp) with lots of info on this subject--from seed politics to seed saving. On the seed politic issue, you can view this post in particular: http://www.seedlibrary.org/wp/which-way-do-you-sow/

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    9/5/2012 8:41 PM

    Oh man I harvested some of my carrots tonight and I can't believe they look even better than the ones in the picture. We had fun taste testing all the different colors. They are so much crunchier and flavorful than store bought.

  •  Deanna Natale Tardive
    Deanna Natale Tardive
    10/18/2012 12:43 AM

    So excited for this! I come from the Hudson valley (Rhinebeck ) and I can attest wonderful things are grown there. I am so happy for the seed bank and being able to preserve such goodness! Thank you!

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