Seed Library

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The Seed Library will reopen on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Thank you to everyone who helped pack seeds for the reopening!

Seed Library photo

What is the Seed Library?

The Seed Library offers free, open-pollinated seeds and resources for planting, growing, harvesting, and seed saving. Grow your own food and return your saved seeds to share with the community if you are able.

Why have a Seed Library?

  • Empower community members to grow their own food by offering free seeds.
  • Support food security and improve access to the freshest, healthiest food possible.
  • Provide a culturally diverse selection of seeds so the multitude of cultures represented in our community can grow foods that reflect their palate and preferences.
  • Keep open pollinated seed varieties thriving and in use.
  • Connect people e to community resources for planting, growing, harvesting, and seed saving.
  • Learn how to save seeds for the next growing season, share with friends and family, and return seeds to the Seed Library.

How does the Seed Library work?

  • Choose up to 10 seed packets per library card from the seed rack.
  • Check out your seeds (no due dates, no fines!)
  • Choose necessary resource sheets to help you grow.
  • Plant your seeds in some soil with lots of sun and add water.
  • Save seeds from your harvest and consider returning some to the Seed Library.

Seed Library Collection

(click on heading for planting & saving instructions, click on seed name to reserve seeds)

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Bean

  • Bush variety - “Painted Pony” (Phaseolus vulgaris)
  • Edamame - "Fiskeby" (Glycine max)
  • Pole variety - “Ideal Market” (Phaseolus vulgaris)

Beet

  • “Detroit Dark Red” (Beta vulgaris)

Bitter Melon 

  • "Hong Kong Green"(Momordica charantia)

Carrot

  • “Danvers” (Daucus carota)

Cucumber

  • “Russian Pickling” (Cucumis sativus)
  • “Suyo Long” (Cucumis sativus)

Eggplant

  • “Listada de Gandia” (Solanum melongena)
  • “Thai Green” (Solanum melongena)

Greens

seed-library-image-3
  • Bok Choy “Prize Choy” (Brassica rapa)
  • Mizuna "Asian Green" (Brassica rapa)
  • Mustard Greens "Japanese Giant Red" (Brassica juncea)

Kale

  • "Halbhoher Gruner Krauser" (Brassica oleracea)
  • Ethiopian Kale (Brassica carinata)

Lettuce/Spinach

  • Lettuce Butterhead variety - "Grandma Hadley's" (Lactuca sativa)
  • Lettuce Looseleaf variety - "Gold Rush" (Lactuca sativa)
  • Spinach - "Bloomsdale" (Spinacia oleracea)

Onion

  • Bunching Onion - “Evergreen Hardy White” (Allium fistulosum)
  • Red Onion - “Long Red Florence” (Allium cepa)

Pea

  • “Amish Snap” (Pisum sativum)

Pepper

  • Bell Pepper - “Wisconsin Lakes” (Capsicum annuum)
  • “Jalapeño” (Capsicum annuum)
  • “Habanero” (Capsicum chinense)

Radish

  • “French Breakfast” (Raphanus sativus)seed-library-image-4
  • “Miyashige Daikon” (Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus)

Squash

  • Opo/Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)
  • Pumpkin - "Winter Luxury" (Cucurbita pepo)
  • Summer Squash “Costata Romanesco” (Cucurbita pepo)
  • Winter Squash “Waltham Butternut” (Cucurbita moschata)

Tomatillo

  • "Green" (Physalis ixocarpa)

Tomato

  • “Brandywine (Sudduth’s Strain)” (Solanum lycopersicum)
  • “Sam Marzano” (Solanum lycopersicum)
  • “Cherry Roma” (Solanum lycopersicum)

Watermelon

  • "Blacktail Mountain" (Citrullus lanatus)

Herbs

  • Basil “Genovese” (Ocimum basilicum)
  • Cilantro (Coriander sativum)
  • Dill "Bouquet" (Anethum graveolens)
  • Epazote (Dysphania ambrosiodes)
  • Mint - Common (Mentha spp.)
  • Nasturtium - "Empress of India" (Tropaeolum minus)
  • Parsley “Giant Italian” (Petroselinum crispum)

Community Donated Seeds

The Seed Library also contains vegetable, fruit, and flower seeds donated by community members. The types of seeds and amounts available will vary throughout the growing season. Check back often to see if new seeds have been added to the collection. You do not need to check out these seeds. Please take what you can use.

How do I donate seeds?

  • The Seed Library accepts open-pollinated or heirloom seeds; donated GMO or Hybrid seeds will be distributed outside the Seed Library.
    • Seeds must be cleaned and ready to be packaged.
    • Please fill out a donation form or provide information on what seeds you are donating so we know what we’ll be growing from that seed.
  • Why no GMO or Hybrid seeds? – These seeds many not produce plants exactly like the parent plant. They may produce something somewhat close or very different. They can be grown for food, but not for saving for the Seed Library.
  • Open-pollinated or heirloom seeds will be “true-to-type” if saved and grown again.

Seed Starting

Watch this video for more information about starting seeds!

"UMN Extension Educator Julie Weisenhorn demonstrates and outlines the easy steps that will help you grow some of your favorite plants without spending a lot."

Seed Saving Workshop

Printable List of Resources (PDF)

Community Garden Plots 

Community garden plots are available in various locations around Rochester. Click on the following links for more information:

In addition, RNeighbors has more information on community food garden resources. Check with your neighborhood association to see if additional garden plot options are available right in your neighborhood.

 

Sponsors

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