The practice of saving seeds has been around for more than 12,000 years. Today, seed saving helps us to develop stronger seeds that are better adapted to our local climate. It also saves us money! Because seed saving is part of our heritage and traditions, it is one way we can come together as a community. When we grow food, our community grows. That’s why Patchogue-Medford Library is starting a Seed Library.
Experience the joys of gardening!
Our Seed Library is about…
- Encouraging our community to dig in and garden
- Reconnecting our community to the traditions of growing tasty, healthy food
- Educating our community about growing, harvesting, and saving seeds
- Creating a community-sustained seed collection at our library
- Nurturing a culture of sharing and abundance
Step 1: Borrow
*Know your seed* our seeds are non GMO and heirloom varieties. Our seed collection depends on donations, growing success, and seasonal changes.
You can choose from “Easy” “Medium” and “Advanced” seeds.If you’re a beginner gardener DON’T WORRY about saving seeds right now! Instead, select the seeds that you’re interested in growing. Focus first on having fun and learning to garden. The seed saving part will come later!
All you need is a current Suffolk County library card to join the seed library. Each member can select up to 3 seed cards per month from the card catalog. Bring your card selections to the Main Desk to redeem for your seeds.
Step 2: Grow
Get ready to get dirty and have some fun! Seeds are a genetic goldmine. When we save seeds we’re passing on the genetic qualities of the plant that provided them. “Easy” seeds are great for beginner gardeners who are ready to save seeds. The perfect flowers from “easy” plants are self pollinating and not likely to cross-pollinate between plants. “Medium” and “Advanced” seeds require special planning. If you’re a more experienced gardener growing plants for seed saving, you’ll want to choose “Medium” and “Advanced” seeds after learning how to isolate plants to prevent cross-pollination.
Again…*Know Your Seed* Do not save seeds from a hybrid variety (often labeled as “F1” in catalogs or seed packets). They will not grow “true to type” to the original parent, and the next generation of plants will be highly unpredictable in overall type, quality and flavor.
Step 3: Return
Collect seeds from your healthiest or tastiest crops. Be sure to set aside some seeds for yourself! Seed-saving envelopes are available at the Main Desk. Place some seeds in clearly labeled envelopes – please fill out the label with as much information as possible. The more information that you provide, the better we can track the success of our local seed stories. Need a label? Print one yourself, or pick it up from the Library.
Bring your labeled seeds to the Main Desk. And keep gardening!
Read about seed saving at your local library
Talk to experienced seed-saving gardeners
Keep a good garden record