“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Cicero, 106 BC — 43 BC
Spring is just days away and I am ready. Ready to dig in the dirt. Ready to breath some fresh air. Ready to get my hands dirty. Ready to stare at the sun until my eyes hurt. It has seemed like an exceptionally long winter this year and I am ready to to hit the ground running.
Starting in the fall, the seed catalogs begin arriving in my mailbox. I can’t seem to throw any of them away even though I know I’ll order from my tried-and-true favorites like Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Burpee. I’m always excited to see what new varieties are available and I always pick a few new things to grow. When we were at the Philadelphia Flower Show a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a seed purveyor that I had never heard of before. Hudson Valley Seed Library. At first I was drawn in by the artwork on the seed packs. Then, I was struck by the names like Spotted Trout Lettuce, Kaleidoscope Carrots, and Burgundy Okra. How can you help but smile?
I did a little digging (pun intended!) and discovered how the company came about. Ken Greene started the Seed Library 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 patrons could “check them out,” grow them in their home gardens, and then “return” saved seed at the end of the season. How cool is that?!? Even though my seed order was complete, I knew I had to make room for a few more. I’m planning to frame these little works of art after I plant the seeds. The packets are cleverly designed to unfold like petals of a flower revealing not only the inner seed packet, but planting instructions and artwork. I am in awe!
So, if you hear me complaining that my back hurts, remind me that it’s a good kind of hurt. The kind of ache and pain that lets me know that I’ve worked hard for something good. I’m ready.