Our friend Ken Greene started the Hudson Valley Seed Library in 2004 while working as a librarian at the Gardiner Public Library in Gardiner, New York. Having developed a strong interest in preserving heirloom seed varieties, he decided to add them to the actual library catalog so that patrons could “check them out,” grow them in their home gardens, and then “return” their own saved seeds at the end of the season. The program was a small but successful endeavor–one of the first of its kind in the country. After four years of running the program at the library, Ken and his partner Doug decided to turn the library into a mission-driven, homestead-based small business–which it still is today.
The heart of the Seed Library is a small farm in Accord, New York, located in the scenic Rondout Valley between the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge (about 1.5 hours from Beekman 1802 Farm). There the team cultivates about three acres of production and trial gardens, produce hundreds of pounds of seed each year, learn about new varieties, and undertake breeding projects in the traditional methods of plant breeders. The farm became Certified Organic in May, 2013.
The Seed Library celebrates the genetic diversity of heirloom varieties by commissioning diverse art works, in diverse media, to put on the seed packs. For the Beekman 1802 collection, artist Cat Morris created the whimsical designs. Cat was discovered as part of the Beekman 1802 Good-“grammer” Project.
Grow along with us! Plant the same seeds that we are planting at Beekman Farm! Click here to get started!