Winter is for Dreaming

by Doug Muller

Welcome to the new Hudson Valley Seed Library website! After working on it for the past few months, we're excited to share it with you and hope that you enjoy it. You are now able to join the Seed Library online, order seeds from our selection of Garden Packs and Art Packs, and read all about our different varieties. Over the next few months, we will update the site regularly with instructional content in our Learn section; there, you will find helpful tutorials on how to have a successful garden and save seeds from the plants you grow. In addition, this space of the front page will contain a blog documenting what we're up to in the garden throughout the season.

While we're excited to have the page up, there still are a few rough edges scattered throughout the site. We hope you don't mind too much. Most notably absent are the planting and seed-saving instructions for each variety. We've also just received about ten varieties of seed that we haven't had the chance to get into the catalog. And we're missing a quick order page for those of you who know what you want and don't want to spend time perusing the pages on each individual variety. It's all coming soon! We're currently a two-man operation, and we're doing our best to fill orders, prepare for the upcoming growing season, and get the website launched all at the same time. So, check the site regularly over the next few weeks to see these gaps fill in. But for now, if you find any glaring errors or breaks in functionality, please contact us and let us know.

Enjoy the new site, and stay seedy! Our first blog post continues below. --Ken and Doug

Deep winter is upon us. A thick blanket of snow sits upon the earth; the days remain brief and often gray; the weather report calls for sub-zero temperatures the next few days. For some gardeners, this time of year provokes desolation, maybe even an urge to move to Florida and swap their maples and spruces for live oaks and palm trees. But look a little deeper and you'll see winter as the gift that it is: a three- or four-month window in which to put to rest any anxiety or sadness spawned by last year's garden and to re-focus on what matters for next year's. By late February, the prospect of perky onion seedlings and sunnier days is most welcome. But right now's the time to look within, to re-acquaint yourself with the contrarian spirit--that deep well of hope--that calls you to dig your hands into the earth and feed yourself.

Our culture is brimming over in convenience. In North America, nearly every human whim can be satisfied with a few keystrokes or the turn of the ignition. Growing your own food is not convenient--at least not in the typical way. A garden means commitment; a garden means trust; a garden means shedding fears and giving the earth a try. It is, in short, out-of-step with the dominant rhythms of our urbanized/suburbanized world. But a garden delivers something that you can find nowhere else: the delight of using your body to keep yourself alive and healthy. In a garden, there is no person between you and the source of life, no inexplicable rules guiding your experience, no blank-faced strangers strumming bar code readers. There's you and a plot of earth teeming with life, teeming with possibility. This winter, we encourage you to recall this awareness, and to imagine what the world could be like if each of us were to tend a garden every year.

So, dream a bit. Dream of your own garden, and dream of the power of gardens. Consider helping a non-gardening friend or neighbor put in a few tomato plants this year. Share the food you grow with your co-workers. The world needs your garden now more than ever. --Doug