Seed Giveaway Project

by Ken Greene

So far this year our Green$eeds fundraising program has raised over $1000 for garden groups and green not-for-profits in New York. We're excited to be further growing our support for green groups by partnering with the Poughkeepsie Farm Project. PFP has been growing and saving seeds and distributing them through their programs for years. By working together, we will be able to provide free seeds for even more folks- helping schools and summer programs teach gardening to children, and helping those in need feed themselves, their families, and communities. Please help us get the word out by sharing the following press release about the program. Thank you!



Seeds Free of Charge to Educational/Non-Profit Groups

Poughkeepsie, NY – May 4, 2011 – The Hudson Valley Seed Library joins the Poughkeepsie Farm Project this year in making seeds available completely free of charge to school gardens and nonprofits with gardening programming.  The PFP’s Community Seed Project, which grows 10-15 varieties of seeds each year while teaching seed saving skills, began making seeds available for free to schools and nonprofits in 2010.  This year, the PFP joins forces with the Hudson Valley Seed Library, an Accord-based seed company which offers over 60 varieties of locally grown seed (including several grown by the PFP) and around 100 varieties sourced from responsible seed houses.  This collaboration increases the amount and variety of seeds available for donation.  In 2010, 500 packets (16 varieties of seeds) were distributed to 30 schools and nonprofits.  In 2011, 1000 packets (60 varieties) are available for distribution.

The Seed Giveaway Catalog and online application are available to view here.  Individuals may purchase seeds by ordering them at  Seeds may be purchased directly at the PFP’s Open Farm Day and Plant Sale on May 14 or at the Seed Library's Plant Sale and Farm Tour also on May 14th.

060-1Most of Hudson Valley Seed Library’s varieties are rooted in the history and soils of New York or are chosen because they do well here. Every year they plan on growing additional varieties on the Seed Library farm and contracting with organic and certified naturally grown farmers in the Hudson Valley and upstate New York to grow even more varieties. Their membership program provides a way for backyard gardeners to make a vital contribution to this effort.

According to the PFP, seed saving is an important first link in the food chain, as it: helps preserve the lost art of seed preservation; conserves biodiversity and genetic resources in an era of vulnerable agricultural monocultures and global climate change; helps us gain public control and self-sufficiency of the seed supply and the food we have available to us to eat; and allows us to work toward regional sustainability and increase regional food security.  The practice also creates seeds that are adapted to organic growing practices in the northeast and helps to preserve cultural heritage.

PFP Farm Manager Wendy Burkhart-Spiegel invites anyone interested in volunteering to take part in the PFP’s Community Seed Project to stop by Wednesdays between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. from April through October at the PFP site on the Vassar College Farm.

About the Poughkeepsie Farm Project

The Poughkeepsie Farm Project (PFP) is a non-profit organization that works toward a just and sustainable food system in the Mid-Hudson Valley by operating a member-supported farm, providing education about food and farming, and improving access to healthy locally-grown food. The PFP’s Community Seed Project grows and save seeds for local distribution, teaches seed saving skills to hundreds of youth and adults each year, and distribute free seeds to nonprofits with gardening programming.  The PFP is located in the City of Poughkeepsie at the intersection of Hooker and Raymond Avenues on Vassar College Farm.

About the Hudson Valley Seed Library

The Hudson Valley Seed Library is a local company that creates accessible and affordable regionally-adapted seeds that are maintained by a community of caring farmers and gardeners in the Hudson Valley. This year, they expect to offer 60 varieties of locally grown seed and around 100 varieties sourced from responsible seed houses. Their gift-quality seed packs feature works designed by New York artists in order to celebrate the beauty of heirloom gardening