Community Seed Resources


As part of our Seedy Saturdays this year, we are making use of a great program from Seed Savers Exchange and Seed Matters, who have created a Community Seed Resource Program (CSRP) designed to help communities create or strengthen their seed libraries, and in so doing, improve food security across the country. The JTEL’s GEB program is participating in the CSRP, and recently received a box with seeds, a packet of useful information on seed saving and hosting seed exchanges, a book title that’s been on our wish list for a while (The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving, by Micaela Colley and Jared Zystro), and a welcome brochure.

The CSRP includes a Citizen Science Corps, providing you an opportunity to grow, evaluate, or regenerate varieties in the Seed Savers Exchange collection. There are far more varieties in storage than can be grown on Heritage Farm, and some don’t grow very well in that area, so assistance from individuals across the country is invaluable. The Corps includes three programs:

  • ADAPT: test how varieties grow in different regions. Great for the novice gardener.
  • SHARE: evaluate and describe varieties in the Seed Savers Exchange collection. More in-depth than the ADAPT program.
  • RENEW: increase the amount of seed of rare varieties, recreate a pure strain, or increase the availability of those that do not grow well at Heritage Farm. For people with an understanding of seed saving.

To participate in ADAPT or SHARE, contact Philip Kauth, or (563) 387-5608. For RENEW, contact Steffen Mirsky, or (563) 382-3990 extension 165.

The seeds include some varieties that are already in our collections, but most are new. The JTEL is delighted to encourage people to come to our Seedy Saturdays on Feb. 25 and March 4 to check them out and sign up as a library member! This wonderful donation includes:

  • Beans: Black Valentine, Calypso, Dragon’s Tongue, Fin de Bagnol
  • Beet: Cylindra
  • Carrots: Dragon, Oxheart, Paris Market, St. Valery
  • Cucumbers: A&C Pickling, Armenian
  • Eggplants: Pingtung Long, Round Mauve, Thai Green
  • Flowers: Amado Coneflower, Amish Cockscomb, Bells of Ireland, Cup and Saucer Vine, Cupplant (Prairie), Hollyhock (Black), Love-Lies-Bleeding, Moonflower, Titan Sunflower, Zinnia (Persian Carpets)
  • Herbs: Basil – Globe, Lime, Mrs. Burn’s Lemon; Borage, Golden Marguerite (“Kelways”), Rue, Stevia, St. John’s Wort, Summer Savory
  • Lettuce: Bronze Arrowhead, Ella Kropf, Forellenschluss, Green Oakleaf, Gulley’s Favorite, Pablo, Red Salad Bowl, Red Velvet, Rossa di Trento, Rouge d’Hiver
  • Melon: Pride of Wisconsin
  • Onion: Yellow of Parma
  • Peas: Green Arrow, Sutton’s Harbinger
  • Peppers: Bull Nose Bell, Chocolate Beauty, Feher Ozon Paprika, Garden Sunshine, Georgia Flame, Golden Treasure, Hot Portugal, Joe’s Long Cayenne, Joe’s Round, King of the North, Peach Habanero
  • Radishes: Early Scarlet Globe, French Breakfast, Watermelon
  • Rutabaga: Macomber
  • Salisfy: Mammoth Sandwich Island
  • Squash: Golden Hubbard, Kikuza, Silver Edged, Summer Crookneck
  • Tomatoes: Black Krim, Black Plum, Blondköpfchen
  • Watermelons: Chelsea, Chris Cross, Sweet Siberian

Many thanks to these two nonprofits for their support, and for helping to increase biodiversity and encourage citizen science!

About dhelfferich

Ms. Helfferich is the founder of the JTEL and has served in many capacities with the library, among them board president, board vice president, capital grants manager, grant writer, fundraiser, events organizer, director of the Growing Ester's Biodiversity program, website manager, and collections volunteer.
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