by Nicole Wines
The 2017 gardening season is off to a great start. Thanks to a new collaboration with the Sustainable Highland Park Committee, the Raíces EcoCulture Seed Library has a new homebase at the Eugene Young Environmental Education Center in Highland Park, NJ. We had our first meetings for the season on March 16 and 18. I left both meetings energized and inspired by the motivation and desire to plant, grow, and save seeds together.
Participants were given a brief introduction to what a seed library is and a quick overview on some of the basics of seed saving. Some of the participants have saved seeds in the past and for others it is their first time. No matter the level of experience, it is guaranteed to be a learning process and community endeavor for all.
After taking some questions and dialoguing a bit about gardening, seeds, seed companies and why it is so important to save seeds, everyone got to work on some hands-on seed saving tasks, including making our own D.I.Y. recycled seed envelopes (click link for instructional video and link to envelope template) and saving cilantro, or coriander, seeds.
Some of the key points and ideas that came up at the meeting were:
- Seed is life.
- Plant for the pollinators – Pollinators are in trouble, especially the bees, and our seed saving efforts can help provide clean sources of food for the entire growing season by interplanting flowers and allowing herbs and vegetables to go to flower.
- Native plants – One participant mentioned an interest in learning more about native plants. We hope to create a category within the seed library for seeds of native plants.
- It isn’t just about saving seeds, but also about creating community. There were connections made between participants and interest expressed in building collaborations with local schools and students. In addition, members, both new and old, were invited to help in the planning process for the Raíces EcoCulture Seed Library and help make it a collective and cooperative effort as we move forward.
- Raíces EcoCulture Seed Library member Rachel Dawn Davis will create and present a family and child friendly seed saving workshop this May as part of the Raíces EcoCulture Sustainable Living Workshop Series. Check out our program calendar or sign up for our mailing list in the sidebar to get updates directly to your inbox.
Couldn’t make it to the meetings? You can still become a member of the Raíces EcoCulture Seed Library. We will be scheduling a seed saving work party within the next couple of weeks to all work together on getting the seed library ready for the 2017 growing season, as well as a seed saving workshop for children and families in May. Check our program calendar for updates and details or join our mailing list in the sidebar on the right to get updates directly to your inbox. In the meantime, here are some more photos from tonight’s meeting.
RAÍCES ECOCULTURE SEED LIBRARY ORIENTATION MEETINGS
3/16/2017 & 3/18/2017, HIGHLAND PARK, NJ
MORE LINKS & RESOURCES
- Interested in joining up but couldn’t make it out to the meetings? Register here.
- Raíces EcoCulture Seed Library Homepage with membership info.
- See more of our past articles and shared resources on the subject of seed saving.