Monday, September 3, 2012

Hudson Valley Seed Library

My family vacations in the Poconos every year and we rent a cabin on Lake Wallenpaupak. The closest town is Hawley, PA. In the old Silk Mill in Hawley,  we came across a new store this year called the Mill Market that specializes in local products. While browsing, I discovered these gorgeous seed packets and the graphic designer in me couldn’t resist buying a couple — after all, I’m a sucker for awesome packaging. These seed packets are part of the Art Pack Collection of Hudson Valley Seed Library. Eye-candy for the artsy gardener.

Seed packets from the Art Pack Collection of the Hudson Valley Seed Library.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library is the brainchild of Ken Greene and Doug Muller, who farm in Accord, NY and are helped by about fifteen other farms in the Hudson Valley. According to the home page of their website, they have over 200 heirloom flower, vegetable and herb varieties. Each Art Pack is designed by a different artist, making for a diverse and beautiful collection of artwork. To see the full collection, click here. Who can resist?

Here’s some more information about the Hudson Valley Seed Company, taken from their About Us page on their website:

“The Seed Library grew out of a germ of an idea at a small town library in the Hudson Valley region of upstate New York. Over the past eight years, the idea has grown and blossomed into an online seed library focused on the Northeast and a full seed catalog for all gardeners. Today, the Seed Library has its own seed farm where open-pollinated seeds are grown, saved, and packed by hand. There are close to one thousand seed library members and thousands more buy our unique Art Packs and heirloom seeds every year.

The Hudson Valley Seed Library strives to do three things:
1.    to create an accessible and affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that is maintained by a community of caring farmers and gardeners
2.    to create gift-quality seed packs featuring original works designed artists in order to celebrate the beauty and diversity of heirloom gardening.
3.    to help farmers, gardeners, and eaters understand where seeds come from, how they are grown, who grows them, and why seed saving is more important than ever.

In 2012, we expect to offer over 60 varieties of locally grown seed and around 140 varieties sourced from responsible seed houses. Most of our varieties are rooted in the history and soils of New York or are chosen because they do well in the Northeast. Every year we plan on growing additional varieties on the Seed Library farm and contracting with organic and certified naturally grown farmers in the greater Hudson Valley to grow even more varieties. Our membership program provides a way for backyard gardeners to make a vital contribution to this effort.”

I love what these guys are doing. As their slogan says, they are “Keeping seeds in the dirty hands of caring gardeners.” Well then, they’re in good hands. And they also happen to show that art and gardening go perfect together.

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