I’ll admit it: I’m no gardener. Even so, I couldn’t resist buying some painted-daisy seeds while at Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow recently. I wasn’t drawn by the seeds so much as the artful envelope that contained them—part of a collection of “art packs” sold by the Hudson Valley Seed Library.
The Seed Library encourages gardeners to “borrow” seeds, use them to grow plants, and return harvested seeds for next year’s growing—much like you’d take out and return a library book. Founder Ken Greene and his partner, Doug Muller, grow, save, and hand-pack the seeds on a small farm in Accord, New York. All of the seeds are ideally suited to New York. “I wanted to focus on varieties with history in our region,” says Greene.
Many seeds sold are heirloom varieties. “They’ve been passed down from generation to generation,” says Greene. “There are stories with them.” To help impart those stories, Greene and Muller commissioned regional artists to illustrate their art packs. Get them at Philipsburg Manor, Lyndhurst, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Whole Foods Market, or online at seedlibrary.org