Sunday, February 4, 2018

The Seeds are Here!

Hello Gardeners!
Happy Days! I have stocked all the seed library drawers with hundreds of seed packets. In fact, over 800 new packets pf seeds are waiting for lucky gardeners to check them out. Here's a short summary of what the seed library offers:
Tomatoes - 43 varieties
Beans - 12 varieties
Peas 8 varieties
Lettuce - 11 varieties
Native plants - over 25 varieties
plus many, many annual and perennial flowers and other vegetables and herbs.
So now is the time to check out the seed library.

A big thank you to all who donated seeds and helped package these 800+ packets! Also, when you are planning your gardens, please add space for a few extra plants that you  harvest for the seeds. This year we were fortunate that Territorial Seed Company donated 141 packages of vegetable seeds and Guerney's gave us a $25 gift certificate which we used for 6 packages of pea and sweet pepper seeds. These packages were further divided into the packets we offer at the seed library. But it is unlikely we will get similar donations next year so we need local seed donations as well. Plant an extra tomato or lettuce plant or a half row of peas or beans for the seed library. Remember--we only want seeds from open-pollinated/heirloom variety of plants.
I spent this week updating the seed catalog with the new varieties of seeds and stocking seeds. I reorganized the seed catalog a bit. All the easy to save vegetable seeds (tomatoes, peas, beans, lettuce and sweet peppers) are grouped first in the catalog and then follows the difficult to save seeds in alphabetical order. I hope this will make it easier for you to find what you are looking for.

Also, all the difficult to save seeds are in the bottom 2 drawers of the seed library. We decided not to repackage the new commercial packages of seeds and just placed them directly in the drawers. If you only want some of the seeds in the package there are empty envelopes in the box of the table you can use to hold the seeds. The seed library wants to stress saving the 'easy to save' seeds and so we decided not to use our limited resources repackaging the' difficult to save' seeds.
Upcoming Events:
I hope to see you at one of the 2 seed starting classes I'm teaching in March:
Saturday, March 3, 2018 10:30-11:30 Seed starting class at the Maplewood library
Saturday, March 3, 2018 1-2pm Seed starting class at the White Bear Lake library
Happy Garden Planning!

Here's a photo, compliments of Michelle Bruhn, from our last seed packaging event on Jan 29th.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Seed Packaging Event Coming Up!

Hello Gardeners!
I hope you are enjoying all the seed catalogs in your mail box. Looking through all the color photos of vegetables and flowers inspires me during these cold, cloudy days of winter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the snow and activities like cross-country skiing and snow shoeing, but I do like dreaming of warm weather too.
Just a reminder that our next seed packaging event is coming up on Monday, January 29th from 4:30-8pm at the White Bear Lake library. This is an open event, so come when you can and stay as long as you like. I will be showing 3 methods to start native plant seeds as needed during the event. No experience necessary and chocolate is provided! New gardeners and those experienced in digging in the dirt are all welcomed!  Come spend some time with fellow gardeners as we package seeds and talk about our plans for the growing season.
The seed library can use donations of heirloom or open-pollinated seeds (peas, beans, tomatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers and native plants) and small coin envelopes, no bigger than 3 X 4 1/4".

I want to call your attention to the Forks in the Dirt site, run by Michelle Bruhn.  Michelle was instrumental in getting together the White Bear Lake Winter Farmer's Market last month. She has a new blog post on seed saving which talks about our White Bear Lake Seed Library. Check it out!  Forks in the Dirt

Another event which I always find wonderful is the Design With Nature Conference. The speakers are great and the conference fee includes lunch and snacks. Consider becoming a Wild Ones member and receive a discount to the conference.

Wild Ones Design With Nature
Annual Conference - February 17

Natural Landscape as the New Norm
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Anderson Student Center,
University of St. Thomas, St. Paul Campus

The conference is presented by Wild Ones, a national, environmental education and advocacy nonprofit. It offers insights into topics impacting the native plant movement, always encouraging us to embrace the connection of native plants to the ecological health of our communities.


  • Jared Rosenbaum: 
    We Are Wildlife: Edible and Medicinal Native Plants in Restoration Practice
  • Rachel Mackow:
    Native Nourishment: Breaking Bread with Wildlife
  • Catherine Zimmerman:
    Stories of Bringing Nature Home: Rethinking Our Approach to Landscape
Remember, without Winter, Spring would seem less sweet!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Seed Packaging Event January 29th!

Seed Packaging Event
Monday, Jan 29, 2018
4:30-8:00 pm
Open event - come when you can
Fun for all! Treats provided!
White Bear Lake Library
2150 S 2nd St
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

I hope you can make it to this event. We have a great group of gardeners from novices to experts who come to package seeds and we welcome newcomers. Besides packaging seeds we also love talking about our gardens. I'll demonstrate winter seed starting methods multiple times during the event as needed.
Please note, inclement weather may cause this to be canceled. Contact the library if uncertain. I will send out an email if canceled.

Remember, please consider donating some seeds you saved or a commercial package of seeds (open-pollinated only). The seed library depends on seed donations to continue to offer seeds to everyone!