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.