OUR COLD CLIMATE SEED LIBRARY
Wildsight Elk Valley Branch’s Community EcoGarden has been hosting seed swap events every winter since 2005. Most seeds offered at the seed swaps have come from plants grown in members’ gardens and at the EcoGarden. Over the years, other local gardeners have contributed more seeds to our “stash.” Many seeds represent varieties that have been grown here for several years by these gardeners. They are successfully grown favorite varieties that have adapted to the unique growing conditions in our valley.
Out of this ongoing project, the idea came of establishing a seed library to preserve and continue to share these varieties that have adapted to our climate. The mandate of our Seed Library is to preserve and maintain seeds from staple vegetable and edible herb and flower varieties This addresses an aspect of food sovereignty involving access to organic, non-GMO, open-pollinated seed for growing our own food.
All seed varieties in the Library have been grown out in our area for at least two plant-generations. The Library houses a small supply of about 50 plant varieties in a member’s home cold storage room. Library members who have been trained in seed saving planning and techniques are needed to grow out seeds from each variety to keep Library content fresh.
SEED LIBRARY MEMBERSHIP
This project needs more gardeners interested in saving seeds! A lifetime membership fee of $10 provides gardener access to training workshops, our Seed Strategies workbook, and free access to seeds in the Library. Members are encouraged to work with only a few varieties each year and plan their garden to give plants grown for seed the proper isolation distances to prevent unwanted cross-pollinating and allow for minimum plant populations. As a community working together, we can successfully renew and maintain our Library stock.
New members are welcome!
- Membership fee can be paid by e-transfer to: email@example.com.
- Please specify Seed Library Membership in the comments.
- Your welcome email will include information on how you can get involved in the project.
2021 SEEDY SATURDAY UPDATE
- We are nearly finished cleaning seeds grown at the EcoGarden last year, sorting seeds for our Seedy Saturday virtual seed swap and seeds for the Library.
- We are going through the community seed stash, performing germination tests, and keeping only viable seeds for sharing.
- The EcoGarden will publish a current list of seeds available from our community stash by the end of January.
- Look on our events listing here and on our EcoGarden Facebook page for Seedy Saturday/Weekend online events taking place in February.
- Gardeners wanting seeds can order by email and pick up their seed orders at our Local Store at 632 2nd Avenue in Fernie. Cash donations are appreciated and can be made at the time of pickup, or e-transferred to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DONATING SEEDS TO THE SEED SWAP
There will be a box at the Local Store to receive donations from gardeners of seeds they have grown. Please secure seeds in envelopes labeled with the plant name and variety, year collected, and any additional information available, such as where the original seed came from. These seeds will be tested and added to the community stash.