About Us 1st Draft
We are a values-driven seed company that practices and celebrates responsible seed production and stewardship. Our seeds are all open pollinated, non-GMO and mostly organic, with a wide selection of heirloom varieties. We have our own certified organic farm in upstate New York where we produce much of what we sell.
Four Fold Farm—named in honor of the shape of our Art Packs—is the beating heart of the Hudson Valley Seed Company. It allows us to steward amazing heirlooms that have fallen out of circulation, and offer Certified Organic seed for hard-to-find varieties. It also allows us to trial a wild profusion of new varieties each year, selecting the cream of the crop for our new offerings. The farm keeps our staff connected to the mission and to each other. On lovely summer afternoons you can find the office staff eating lunch out on the farm, exploring the catalog brought to life in vivid color. In the dead of winter you’ll find the farm staff keeping warm inside, working to pack seed, fulfill orders, and push us through the busy season. In a very real way, the farm keeps us grounded, in touch with the daily joys and challenges of growing. Being rooted in agriculture helps strengthen our partnerships with amazing, dedicated seed farmers around the country, and helps us better serve you year round.
The Hudson Valley Seed Company has its roots in the public library of Gardiner, New York. Co-founder Ken Greene, then working as a librarian, had been interested in the local food movement and, realizing there was little discourse about the seeds that grow our food, started the country's first seed library program in 2004. The more he delved into the subject, the more he realized that working with seeds was a way to work with issues concerning the environment, health, history, culture, and more. He realized that we could be small and powerful like seeds.
In 2008, the seed library went online. All around the country, people reached out wanting to buy seeds to support the program, and Ken and co-founder Doug Muller realized that people's interest truly lay in buying and saving organic, heirloom seeds, and so in 2009, the seed library program ended and the seed company began.
That same year, Ken and Doug started to think about how best they could tell the stories of the seeds in the collection. They asked fourteen artist friends to design fourteen seed packs, and our Art Pack line was born.
Tended by interested gardeners, the company blossomed. Ken and Doug's seed collection started in an oak dresser. When they outgrew the dresser, they moved the operation into the renovated concession stand of the old summer camp where they lived, and, when they outgrew that as well, bought a trailer. Eventually they renovated a two-story house on the property, which still operates as our office.
Ken and Doug had never envisioned the seed company as anything more than a humble operation between the two of them and a few local farmers. But over the years, the team has continued to grow and strengthen and our catalog keeps expanding. We have five acres on our own organic farm, and we work with other small growers, teaching them to save seed and helping them diversify their income and their crops. Even as the company continues to gain recognition across the country and beyond, our mission of biodiversity and storytelling remains as pure and powerful as a seed.
Our Art Packs
Our Art Packs unite practical aspirations in the garden with the universal human desire for beauty, meaning, and joy. Each year, we release a call for art seeking artists to interpret the varieties in our collection, and hundreds of artists apply from across the United States. But there’s a lot more to an Art Pack than the beautiful exterior. Open it up, and a whole seedy world unfolds...
We are a small company of dedicated plant and art lovers. Just as a seed is the composite product of many forces—the soil, the sun, the rain, their specific pollinators—the Hudson Valley Seed Company thrives because our team combines the efforts of an array of important tasks.
Ken Greene, Co-Founder & Creative DirectorKen works with our artists to help them share the stories of our seeds. He keeps the seed company true to its original mission protecting seeds, increasing seed diversity, fostering an ethical seed landscape, and celebrating the art of seed.
Favorite Art Pack: Heart Seed. Being a seed saver is about being in a relationship with plants. All seeds love us back, but this one knows how to show it!
Seedy Secret: Ken runs a non-profit called Seedshed that focuses on seed justice. Find out more at seedshed.org.
Doug Muller, Co-Founder & Managing DirectorDoug supervises both the farm and the office, setting direction for the catalog and the business.
Favorite Art Pack: Evergreen Scallion. It suggests that life is an adventure through a vegetable landscape, which matches his life experience.
Seedy Secret: He dreams of taking a long-distance bike trip someday, hopping from garden to garden and farm to farm, documenting the diverse ways in which people connect with plants and the Earth.
Robin Whitlock, Operations ManagerRobin manages production and shipping.
Favorite Art Pack: Silverleaf Sunflower. The Silverleaf Sunflowers soared high and robust as saplings above her front porch well into November, flowering and feeding all pollinators who could still venture out that far into the cold season.
Seedy Secret: Robin's favorite insect is the cicada, especially periodical cicadas. She suggests you google them.
Cara Sue Stewart, Shipping & Receiving SpecialistCara receives all your seedy orders and makes sure they are sent to you safe and sound.
Favorite Art Pack: Pansy Mix. Cara loves this pack for the obvious reason that these flowers are playful and gorgeous, but equally important, she loves it for its social justice message.
Seedy Secret: When Cara Sue is not at HVSC she hosts a weekly LGBTQ social night called Pansy Club here in the Hudson Valley.
Marybeth Wehrung, Seasonal Production SpecialistMarybeth packs seeds, ships orders, packages tubers and generally jumps in where needed during Seed Co's fall/winter busy season.
Favorite Art Pack: German Thyme. It's got a gnome on it. Duh!
Seedy Secret: As a Flower Farmer/small business owner, she has to be the boss of everything, so she likes having a winter job where other people tell her what to do.
Keith Garrett, Lead Seed Packer & Machine OperatorThis guy fills our packs with seeds (and a little love). He is also our self-proclaimed resident Mr. Fixit.
Favorite Art Pack: Spider Flower. The artist's use of deep blue and indigo hues elicit a calming effect.
Seedy Secret: He is an exceptional cook!
Sandi Foster, Art Pack Production ManagerSandi takes pride in making each Art Pack (that opens like a flower) as beautiful as the art and seeds within.
Favorite Art Pack: Sugar Magnolia Snap Pea. It’s got everything delightful, it’s got everything you need.
Seedy Secret: She has a tiny house surrounded by open-pollinated, non-GMO, Hudson Valley Seed Company flowers both she and the wildlife enjoy.
Yuko Nakagawa, Art Pack Production AssistantYuko assembles Art Packs with care.
Favorite Art Pack: Milkweed. They are very important seeds which create habitat for Monarch Butterflies. She also likes the design of pack.
Seedy Secret: 秘密;)
Brett Herman, Seed Packing AssistantBrett puts together the seed gift packs, art card collections and the ever popular shaker box meadow mixes.
Favorite Art Pack: Snapdragon Mix. Dragonflies are prehistoric and eat mosquitos which makes them an old friend.
Seedy Secret: As a scuba diver, Brett is proud to have survived the bottomless Blue Hole dive in Dahab, Egypt.
Steven Crist, Field ManagerSteven manages all aspects of our organic seed farm.
Favorite Art Pack: Sacred Basil. He appreciates the beautiful mandalic symmetry of the pack and the adaptogenic quality of the plant.
Seedy Secret: He is just as superstitious as he is rational.
Kenny Nakagawa, FarmerKenny is part of our farm crew and helps harvest and process seed.
Favorite Art Pack: Black Futsu. They were the first seeds he sewed at the start of his farming life.
Seedy Secret: He likes Japanese stand-up comedy.
Katie Wong, FarmerKatie is part of our farm crew that grows and process our own organic open pollinated seeds.
Favorite Art Pack: Shanghai Baby Bok Choy. Baby Bok Choy has been her favorite vegetable since childhood, and she loves the babies reaching out to grab it.
Seedy Secret: Katie has seen every episode of Star Trek, live long and prosper!
Keith Werwa, Purchasing ManagerKeith works with our suppliers, including our farm, to ensure that everything we offer in our catalog is available for sale.
Favorite Art Pack: Wild Arugula. Not to jump someone else's train but the colors in the artwork remind him of a record he used to listen to in high school.
Seedy Secret: He’s terrible with names.
Jen Kelly, Seed Art ManagerJen manages all art print production and inventory, manages the original art archive, and assists with calls for art and new art-related product development.
Favorite Art Pack: Mache. It provides fresh greens when she craves them most—at the very beginning and the very end of the growing season. She loves how this subtle, layered artwork makes mache look larger than life.
Seedy Secret: Jen loves to procrastinate by baking.
Jack Whettam, Sales & Marketing ManagerJack keeps our social media up to date and looks after our wholesale customers.
Favorite Art Pack: Sacred Basil. Jack can’t get enough Tulsi tea, and he just loves the artwork for this seed pack.
Seedy Secret: Believe it or not, Jack invented the dice.
Anna Sones, Brand Content AssociateAnna writes blog posts, sends newsletters, and helps keep our website tidy and (mostly) typo-free.
Favorite Art Pack: Metta Lettuce. Even though the snails ate all her lettuce this year, she still sees this artwork in every beautiful view of the Catskills.
Seedy Secret: She still sometimes confuses her rights and lefts.
Ayelet Singer, Customer Service & Sales AssociateAyelet answers the phones and coordinates wholesale orders.
Favorite Art Pack: Gift Zinnia. Ayelet loves the Zinnia detail in the artwork. You can really see the complexity of the flower and the flowers within the flower.
Seedy Secret: She went skydiving once and will never do it again.
Carrie Schapker, Administrative & Human Resources AssistantCarrie handles timesheets, runs payroll and attends to related accounting/tax issues, including the on-boarding of new employees.
Favorite Art Pack: Pollinator Petal Patch. Helping the pollinators, especially bees and butterflies, feels like an important thing to do right now AND the flowers are beautiful!
Seedy Secret: She read every Nancy Drew mystery in the original Carolyn Keene series and still loves a good mystery!