About Our Seeds
We offer heirloom and open-pollinated seeds for vegetable, flower, and herb varieties. Many of these seeds we produce on our own small farm; the rest we source from other local farmers, farmers in other regions, and from trustworthy wholesale seed houses that are not owned by or affiliated with multi-national biotech companies. We have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, and we adhere to Vandana Shiva's Declaration of Seed Freedom. Since May 2013, we are both a Certified Organic farm and a Certified Organic Handler (both certifications provided by NOFA-NY LLC). Thanks to gardeners like you, we've been able to expand our catalog of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds every year. Thank you!
How We Started
Ken Greene started the Valley Educational Seed Saving Exchange and Library (VESSEL) 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 library catalog so that patrons could "check them out," grow them in their home gardens, and then "return" saved seed 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 Seed Sanctuary
The heart of the company is our small farm in Accord, New York, located in the scenic Rondout Valley between the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge. Here, we cultivate about three acres of production and trial gardens. We produce hundreds of pounds of seed each year, learn about new varieties that we may like to offer in our catalog, and undertake breeding projects in the traditional methods of plant breeders. We have only ever used organic practices on the farm, and it became Certified Organic in May, 2013. We hold several events each year when the public is invited to tour the grounds. To find out when the next event is, please sign up for our e-mail list.
The Pack Art
We celebrate the genetic diversity of heirloom varieties by commissioning diverse art works, in diverse media, to put on our seed packs. Each year we issue a public call for art. We sift through applicants and eventually choose about twenty applicants to design and produce a unique work for a new variety. Our artists come mainly from the Northeast; many are avid gardeners.
The Seed Squad
The Hudson Valley Seed Company has become what it is today thanks to a team effort by talented, hard-working folks. The seed squad includes:
- Ken Greene, Creative DirectorKen founded VESSEL, the originaly incarnation of what would become the Hudson Valley Seed Library and, ultimately, the Hudson Valley Seed Company. He is a tireless advocate for seed sovereignty and the important role of art in celebrating our agricultural and horticultural heritage.
- Doug Muller, Operations ManagerDoug co-founded the company with Ken in 2008. For the early years, he was the lead farmer on the seed farm, but he now supervises all operations of the business.
- Erin Enouen, Sales and Catalog ManagerErin, a CSA farmer, manages the our sales strategy and catalog offerings. She plans and manages seed production on our own plots and with contracted growers, sources seed varieties for the catalog, and evaluates new varieties in our trial gardens—and also takes on countless special projects.
- Steven Crist, FarmerSteven is our main on-site farmer, stewarding 2-3 acres of organically-cultivated fields with the help of seasonal employees and volunteers. Thanks to his work, we are able to produce hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of pounds of homegrown vegetable, flower, and herb seed for our catalog each year.
- Robin Whitlock, Fulfillment ManagerRobin supervises the seed packing and shipping operations, ensuring that seeds are germination tested, packed properly, and delivered to customers as quickly as possible. She has been part of our team since our early years.
- Lauren Waddington, Sales Associate and Customer Service SpecialistLauren works to make sure all of our customers are happy. She coordinates with fulfillment to anticipate and resolve potential issues, and when customers need help to resolve issues she provides it with alacrity. She also coordinates wholesale orders with our many retail-location accounts.
- Keith Garett, Lead PackerKeith sits at the helm of our seed-packing machine, ensuring that packs are labeled and filled consistently and correctly. He also packs by hand the many "non-machinable" seeds we sell, and he sometimes lends his design skills to the product development process.
- Fennel Skellyman, Seed PackerFennel's many years of making fine-scale art with beads and fabrics have given him the patience and attention to detail needed to be a seed packer. His specialty is the "finishing" step—folding and sealing the outer envelopes of our Art Packs. When he is not working, he is active in the Hudson Valley theater world.
- Giselle Cuevas, Farm AssistantGiselle provided extra labor on the farm this season, ensuring that the nearly endless to-do list didn't trail off into infinity. Thanks, Giselle!
- Cara Stewart, Fulfillment AssistantWhen she is not putting the finishing touches on her hand-built home, Cara pulls orders ahead of our big Monday and Tuesday delivery days.