Ottawa Seed library Fall Edition
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October 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the Seed Library Newsletter!

Join us for a Seed Cleaning Workshop

So you've saved your own seeds, now what?  At this workshop attendees will get an overview of cleaning dried seeds with screens, fans, and even a special homemade open source seed cleaner.  Threshing, winnowing, screening, labeling, storing your seeds will all be covered at this workshop. Whether your small or large gardener this workshop will give you the techniques you need to get your seed clean for next year.

Attendees will be able to bring their own plant material, or the material they wish to donate to the Ottawa Seed Library.  During the workshop attendees will also learn about the Ottawa Seed Library, and how they can contribute and participate in 2019 season.

Where: Just Food Farm - 2391 Pépin Court.
When: Sunday November 18th 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Cost: $5.00 or pay-what-you-can
Participants can get to farm  by car or bus # 94. Parking is also available behind the big red barn.

Tips for Over Winter Seed Storage

If you can't make the seed cleaning workshop, here are some tips for storage over winter.

Before you store your seeds be sure they are fully dry. If you need a refresher on cleaning your seeds refer back to Septembers newsletter or the current sidebar menu. Cold and dry conditions make your seeds dormant, so they last longer, and dryness is more important that cold. Though you should store your seeds cold, you won't harm them if you keep them warm for a few days while they dry. Avoid heat above 40C, since this can damage fresh seeds. Direct sunlight does not harm most seeds but drying inside keeps the elements out.  A rough rule of thumb is that seeds stored in a fridge will live twice as long as the same seeds at room temperature. Keep them in an airtight glass jar because fridges have lots of condensed moisture in them. Plastic containers are not humidity proof.

Fall Planting and Clean Up

Garlic Bulbils are Available!

While supplies last, Just Food has purple Korean Rocambole available for anyone who would like to plant garlic this fall, 5 -10 per person. Bulbils - not the large bulbs that you're probably used to, but the tiny nuggets that grow in the scapes at the tops of the plants.

If you plant bulbils, be prepared to wait for two full years before harvesting fully-grown garlic, but the results should be better than clove-planted garlic, and growing from bulbils is a very economical way to scale up a diverse collection of varieties. Read more about this from our friends at Seeds of Diversity: How to Grow Garlic From Bulbils. Please email Just Food if  you would like some purple Korean Rocambole bulbils.

You can plant these in pots and put them out anytime.  Pots are easier to grow them in for the first year.  Feel free to pick them up at the seed cleaning workshop.

Easily Improve Your Vegetable Garden Soil

How Legumes 'Fix' Nitrogen in Your Soil

After harvesting the last of the bean pods from your garden turn the bean plants back into your garden spoil to fix in nitrogen for next years growing season. Beans are part of the legume family and are great soil builders for your garden.

Legumes (peas, vetches, clovers, beans and others) grow in a symbiotic relationship with soil-dwelling bacteria. The bacteria take gaseous nitrogen from the air in the soil and feed this nitrogen to the legumes; in exchange the plant provides carbohydrates to the bacteria. This is why legume cover crops are said to "fix" or provide a certain amount of nitrogen when they are turned under for the next crop or used for compost.

Happy harvesting!

If you have any questions about seeds or anything related. Please don't hesitate to contact us at

Thank you for being a member in the Ottawa Seed Library!


The Ottawa Seed Library Team!


Seed Library Inventory

Start planning for next year!
Check out our seed library inventory here.

Want to help us keep this update?  Let us know if you want to test seeds & update our catalogue!

Have you considered growing garlic?

As your vegetable garden is winding down and space is becoming available, now is the time to start thinking planting their garlic for the next season. Garlic is planted in the fall and is harvested the following summer in July. Garlic can be grown in two ways, using bulbils or cloves. Check out an article here from Seeds of Diversity on How to Grow Garlic from Bulbils. 

Additional Seed Saving Guides: 

Lettuce  Squash  Spinach 
Radish Bean  Dill  Cilantro
Seed Return

Being at the end of the growing season, you may already have some seed to return to the library. 

Don't worry if they are not perfectly clean, they will grow well even if they aren't as clean as they are when we get them from seed companies. 

You can mail your  saved or unplanted, seeds to:

Just Food
c/o Ottawa Seed Library
2391 Pepin Crt. 
Ottawa, ON
K1B 4Z3 
Copyright © 2017 Ottawa Seed Library, All rights reserved.

Email us at:

Our mailing address is:
Ottawa Seed Library
2389 Pepin Court,
Ottawa K1B 4Z3

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Just Food · 2391 Pepin Court · Ottawa, ON K1B 4Z3 · Canada

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