Welcome to the 2020
Ottawa Seed Library Newsletter
The Seed Library is even more important now than ever before.
The Ottawa Seed Library has a diverse volunteer base to keep it running, it includes backyard gardeners, community gardeners, farmers. People new to seed, as well as those who are very familiar with it.
Those of us who are growing and selling seed can tell you that across Canada right now the demand for vegetable garden seed has been sky rocketing as people who have never gardened before, or who haven’t spent much time gardening in years, are now moving towards a more resilient lifestyle to hedge their bets against uncertainty.
In a world full of uncertainty, you as as gardener have never before had a greater incentive to save your own seeds. Despite all the worry, what is exciting about this moment is that we’re seeing people thinking of resilience and food skill development in ways that have been absent for decades. Growing your own food is an important step, but an incredibly important resiliency step is saving your own seeds, for if you don’t have any seeds how can you grow your own food?
The Ottawa Seed Library offers an opportunity to access seeds, and to be part of a community that is learning, sharing, and growing seed. Accessing seed from the seed library is also easier than it’s ever been. As part of our adaptation to this new world, we are altering some of our expected plans for the coming year. Last year we did farm field tours, and piggy backed on workshops to get seed to gardeners. This year we’ll be diverting resources to enhance our outreach, increase our communication materials, and mail all our seeds out to gardeners who seek them. This is a big step in that it means no matter where you are in the City we’ll be able to get you the seeds you need.
Our current seed list is here and you can request seeds by emailing us with your mailing address and which seeds you would like. You can select up to 3 varieties. If you know someone who wants to be a member, you can send them this link: <http://eepurl.com/dFt9D1> to sign up for the newsletter and all our communications. Recall that you’re only required to return a portion of the seeds you grow, the rest are yours to keep!
An exciting plan in the works is intended to be a digital workshop on seed saving. We’re working out the details and the mechanism, but the intent is that you would be able to attend a one hour session on how to save seeds. The intent is for the workshop to be 1 hour long, and then we would stay available for up to an hour afterwards for a Q & A.
Aside from these plans and activities, we’re playing it by ear. Each month your steering committee meets and plans what the next 3-6 months of activities and communications. We will continue doing this despite COVID-19. As we all learn new information we will continue to assess what is possible going forward. We still are hopeful that we will be able to host our fall seed cleaning tutorial again, but it may end up having to be done digitally as well.
All in all we’ll be doing our best to keep you informed and we’ll double down on ensuring you have the materials you need to save your own seeds.
We’re all in this together and we hope that you will be coming with us on this seed journey.
Best of luck in the coming season.
Connect with The Ottawa Seed Library on Instagram
Tired of just saving seeds from the fruits – and vegetables – of your labour? So are we! For the upcoming season, the Ottawa Seed Library welcomes you to showcase your favourite plant varieties on your Instagram page. As many of us will invest time and effort into our garden, we feel it is fitting to want to share our achievements with the seed saving community. To get started, we put together a guide outlining how to display the fruits of your efforts to the Ottawa Seed Library Community using Instagram.
Log in or Sign up for Instagram
If you don’t have the Instagram app, you will need to visit the App Store on your phone and proceed to download it (for free). Once you have completed this task, sign up by entering your name and email.
Post Your Pictures on Instagram
Post photos through the growing season from seed to seed harvest, of the species you have borrowed from the seed library. Follow this simple hashtag process to inform the OSL and followers what species of plants you are growing. #ottseedlibrary #(common name)onepennysquash. The common name of the plants is found on the OSL seed package.
Ottawa Seed Library Obtains Permission to Use Photos
Please be advised, if you choose to share to the Ottawa Seed Library’s Instagram, you will be permitting us to use the pictures for future promotional activities. In this way, we are not obliged to provide photo credit.
Want to See Other Members Photo
Use the hastags to search for the pictures posted by other members of the OSL in our community. Search #ottseedlibrary or use #plus the common name of the plant to find others growing the same vegetables.