Santa Fe Seed Library
On Saturday, September 24 from 1-3 pm Seed Stewards and Master Gardeners Susie Sonflieth and Diane Pratt will offer “How to Save Seeds for Resilient Gardens” in conjunction with the Master Gardeners Let’s Grow! Education series. The class includes the basics of harvesting, processing, and storage of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds through hands-on demonstrations and will be held at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds, 3229 Rodeo Road, outdoors under the portal of the Exhibit Hall.
Resources for seed saving, growing vegetables from seed, growing tomatoes, soil preparation, seed viability, seed isolation charts, and much more are posted at https://SFEMG.org and https://santafelibrary.org
Santa Fe Seed Library at the Southside Branch Library
March 26, 2022, marked the re-opening of the Seed Library at its original location at the Santa Fe Public Library’s Southside Branch on Jaguar Drive. The Seed Library, operated by the Santa Fe Extension Master Gardeners’ Seed Stewards, houses thousands of open-pollinated vegetable, herb, and flower seeds donated by local growers and commercial seed companies. Patrons may “check out” up to 5 packets at no cost. A library card is not required to use the Seed Library.
The Seed Library will be open during the library’s regular open hours.
“It’s so great to be able to operate the Seed Library out of the library again after two difficult pandemic years of distributing seeds via “Mini Seed Libraries” at eleven locations around the city and county. We look forward to being able to meet Seed Library patrons on Saturday mornings and talk with folks about growing from seeds and saving seeds,” said co-project leader Christine Salem.
To help patrons make selections and learn about seed-saving practices, the Seed Stewards will staff an information table at the Seed Library on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. through the spring. Patrons will be offered resources on how to harvest seeds, and learn how saving those seeds for planting the following years will result in locally-adapted, climate-change resilient varieties of their very own. Patrons are encouraged (but not required) to return part of their harvest to help increase the library’s locally-grown seed offerings.
For those new to vegetable gardening, the SFEMG Seed Stewards will offer free Basic Seed Saving and Gardening Workshops throughout the season.
Since its launch in 2019, Santa Fe Seed Library has distributed nearly 15,000 seed packets to the community. In January, 2020, the Santa Fe Reporter named it one of their Twenty Favorite Things About Santa Fe.
The Santa Fe Seed Library is a project of the Santa Fe Extension Master Gardeners’ Seed Stewards in partnership with the Santa Fe Public Library. We are grateful to Ace Hardware Santa Fe, Agua Fria Nursery, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Botanical Interest, El Guique Farm, Farm Direct Organic, High Desert Seed + Gardens, High Ground Gardens, High Mowing Organic Seeds, La Villita Ranch, Lake Valley Seeds, Plants of the Southwest, Reunity Resources, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, Seed Savers Exchange, Snake River Seed Cooperative, Western Family Farm, Zulu Petals, and the many local gardeners who have donated their seeds.
Seed Library Support and Workshops
In partnership with the Santa Fe Public Library, Seed Stewards will put on educational events virtually and in-person for the public during peak planting and harvesting times. Topics include how to start and transplant seeds; soil building and raised beds; how to select, collect, and save seeds; seed exchanges; seed storing; drip irrigation techniques, botany and breeding. Workshop schedules will be posted on both the SFPL and SFEMG websites. Seed Stewards will work with SFPL to create posters, flyers, brochures, booklets and digital resources to provide how-to information and support to the public on seeds and seed stewardship. Materials will be available at the Seed Library and online.
What Are Locally-Adapted Seeds and Why are they Important?
Open-pollinated seeds versus hybridized or genetically-modified seeds that have evolved over numerous growing seasons or perhaps even thousands of years are inherently more bio-diverse, giving them the ability to thrive in a specific regional climate, geography, and hydrology. Furthermore, this biodiversity is like a built-in insurance policy that enables adaptability to climatic change, and will be hardy and resistant to environmental stresses that would fell plants from seed imported from other regions or countries.
Find out more at https://www.sfemg.org/seed-stewardship-project
- Jannine Cabossel, The Tomato Lady, a local expert who writes a blog that cover all aspects of vegetable gardening. Giantveggiegardener.com.
- Santa Fe Extension Master Gardeners. SFEMG.org. Submit a gardening question online; Listen to a series of podcasts called Veggie Gardening 101 (on the Garden Journal Radio page); Search the newsletter archives.
- New Mexico State University Extension Division
- Seed Savers Exchange has a collection of seed growing and saving resources .
- YouTube videos—search on the topic you are interested in.
- Santa Fe Planting Calendar
- Planting outdoors I: Sowing seed Planting outdoors II: Transplanting
- How to Grow a Three Sisters Garden (Eng.)
- Las Tres Hermanas: How to Grow a Three Sisters Garden (Span.)
- Easy Seeds for Beginning Seed Savers
- Seed School Online, a 7-week webinar combining technical guidance, visual content, and hands-on activities. $$; Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance.
- A Guide to Seed Saving, Stewardship, and Sovereignty – Seed Ambassadors, 2010
- How to Start Seeds Indoors video from Lee Valley Tools
- Vegetable Seed Starting and Transplanting Guide from PennState Extension.
- Marisa Thompson on Touch and Grow Seed Starters
- Growing Guides from Territorial Seeds
- Planting Chart