A Tour of the Hudson Valley Seed Library | Omega

A Tour of the Hudson Valley Seed Library

A Tour of the Hudson Valley Seed Library
08/12/2016

During the Omega Center for Sustainable Living’s Ecological Literacy Immersion Program, students have the opportunity to tour the Hudson Valley Seed Library (HVSL). Guided by HVSL cofounder Ken Greene, students do tasks such as light field work and collect and sort seeds to prepare them for packaging.

 

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    The front three acres of land at the Hudson Valley Seed Library are used for production and trial gardens.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    Ken Greene explains how he started the seed library in 2004—while he was working at the Gardiner Public Library—by adding heirloom seeds to the public library’s catalog.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    ELIP participants lend a hand removing stones from one of the planting beds.

  • Photo: Gabriella DiGiovanni

    Students observe flowers and select their favorite plant. This exercise represents the diverse qualities that are favored during the selection process. 

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    Greene describes the characteristics he looks for in plants he wants to collect seed from and explains why some plants aren't good candidates for seed saving.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    A large bed of zinnias grows in back of the property.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    When you grow a plant to save its seeds, you typically see it through its entire life cycle.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    'Swiss Giant' snow peas, growing on head-high supports.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    After touring the growing areas, ELIP participants have a chance to try harvesting seeds themselves.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    Greene demonstrates how a large garbage bin can be used to free the seeds by shaking the dried plants against the sides.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    To really break up the plants, Greene steps on them in a smaller bucket.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    After following these steps themselves, the ELIP group examines the seeds that have been dislodged.

  • Photo: Mat McDermott

    Using a homemade machine hooked up to a shop vacuum, Ken demonstrates how viable seeds can be separated from ones that are likely unviable. The heavier, viable seeds fall straight down, while unviable ones are lighter and get vacuumed to the other side of the machine.

  • Photo: Gabriella DiGiovanni

    Ken shares the rich stories of the heirloom seed varieties and the artwork used for their packaging with ELIP students.  

© 2016 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies

 

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