The local Seed Savers Club, based out of the Basalt Regional Library, is continuing its monthly meetings to make its seed library and gardening knowledge available to the community. Anyone interested is welcome to attend meetings every second Monday of the month to learn about basic seed skills, pollination and partake in the club potluck dinner and Harvest Fest in October.
As stated in its mission and objectives, the Seed Savers Club is “a group of local community members who believe that seed saving is a valuable skill and an important component of a robust, healthy, local food economy.”
“We’d love to see people who use our seed library commit to learning how to save seed from one single crop in their garden, with the intention of returning some of those seeds to us,” said Signa Strom, sustainable communities advocate at the library. “It doesn’t have to be a big commitment or difficult endeavor — it could be one variety of peas, or one variety of beans, or one variety of tomato.”
Seeds are available to “check out” from the library, so local gardeners and farmers can grow them, then return the seeds to the library so future community members may also have access to seeds. The seed of each new generation will better adapt to the climate in the Roaring Fork Valley, increasing resistance to disturbance in gardens and farms.
“Our Seed Library has failed to support itself in the past, and currently only operates due to commercially packaged donations from Lake Valley Seed, but they won’t support this project indefinitely,” Strom said. “Their donations were supposed to be the starting point, from which local growers could begin producing seeds to save and share, and then donate a portion of those seeds back to the seed library so that it would be self-sustaining. So, this year, we’re focused on educating people about how our seed library is supposed to work and on how easy it is to get started with saving seeds.”
Seed libraries face extinction in the U.S. because regulations intended for big commercial operators have only recently been applied to small seed libraries. Seed libraries help neighbors share seeds and are a vital part of creating a resilient food system. They provide free access to seeds, protect seed diversity and empower people to grow food.
As of 2015, just six companies control 63 percent of the commercial seed market. Seed libraries offer community members the opportunity to reclaim the seed commons and create their own community food systems.
This year, Seed Savers Club has been started in order to accomplish two things:
1) Create a base level supply of locally grown and donated seed and 2) to educate gardeners on the value of seed saving, which benefits gardeners and their families directly in the way of free seed year after year, but also benefits the community by creating a network of growers producing acclimated varieties that grow well in the Valley climate.
If you are interested in joining the Seed Savers Club, an itinerary for the upcoming meetings is listed below. For any questions, please contact Signa Strom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-927-4311 ext. 1000, or visit https://www.basaltlibrary.org/seed-library.html.
- May 13: 2019 Club growing projects — local lettuce and beans.
- June 10: Legal considerations and saving from commercial seed.
- July 8: Pollination basics.
- August 12: Seed harvesting basics and records, labeling and storage.
- Sept. 9: Art, science and ritual: Creating connection and stewardship.
- Oct. 7: Club potluck dinner and Harvest Fest, 5-7 p.m.