The Hudson Valley Seed Library is a unique source for gardeners who appreciate knowing exactly where their seeds come from. Not only that, the Seed Library offers only heirloom and open-pollinated seeds: no hybrids and nothing genetically engineered. More than 200 seed varieties are currently available, most of them packaged in collectible Art Packs. Each is designed by a different local artist in his or her own style, the attractive renditions on the packaging underscoring the beauty, diversity and cultural importance of heirloom seeds.
The Seed Library, founded nine years ago, has its own seed farm in Accord where the seeds are grown, saved and packed by hand. Now it’s collaborating with nearby Hollengold Farm to open a Farm Store. The weekly roadside stand will be open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hollengold Farm at 222 Lower Whitfield Road in Accord. The new site is also home to the Seed Library’s new Trial Gardens (managed by Erin Enouen and tended by Seed Library intern Blake Arrowood).
Seed Library founder Ken Greene says that the idea came about because he and his partner wanted to expand their trials of local heirlooms, unique varieties and current offerings. “So we teamed up with Wendy Hollender, who has a beautiful homestead farm right around the corner from us [Hollengold Farm]. This location means we don’t have to worry about cross-pollination on our seed farm. By growing over at Wendy’s, we’re able to test close to 300 heirloom varieties for flavor, beauty and regional adaptations.”
The Farm Store will carry seasonal heirloom produce from the Seed Library and Hollengold Farm along with pickles and ferments, sun-dried veggies, soaps, organic vanilla extract, foraged food, tote bags and tee-shirts, work by botanical artist/teacher Wendy Hollender, a selection of seeds and seedlings to plant and farm-made delectables like garlic-scape pesto and sourdough bread.
A big part of the Seed Library’s mission is 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. To that end, the Farm Store will also offer workshops, cooking demonstrations and tastings throughout the summer.
A tour of the Trial Garden and taste test of some of the unique varieties grown will be offered on Saturday, July 6. A fall seedling sale will be held on Saturday, July 20, with an “Extend the Harvest” demo to learn what to sow. Wendy Hollender will conduct a botanical art demo on Saturday, August 3 and teach a workshop on how to draw from the garden. “Seeds and Salsa” is on tap for Saturday, August 17 (preregistration required); and then on Saturday, August 24, you can take a tour of the Seed Library Farm with guest lecturer Margaret Roach (preregistration required).
To see the full list of summer workshops and register, visit www.seedlibrary.org and click on Events. Each week the Seed Library will also post what will be available at that week’s Farm Store on its Seeder’s Digest blog and Facebook page.
Hudson Valley Seed Library & Hollengold Farm Store, Saturdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Hollengold Farm, 222 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord; www.seedlibrary.org.