Seed saving is an underutilized foundation for sustainable, urban food production. Grow Portland is working to build a network of local seed savers focused on enhancing biodiversity and resiliency.
Our work is focused on training local gardeners on how to save seeds and creating networking opportunities for seed sharing. We are focused on collecting, distributing and promoting productive, unique and delicious varieties. This work will help bring local gardeners together is positive and supportive ways. Fostering local seed saving will help lower the cost of gardening and improve its productivity and impact on nutrition. Grow Portland’s Seed Saving program is affiliated with the national Seed Savers Exchange Community Seed Resource Program and National Seed Swap Day. Our seed saving work includes several approaches:
Educational Classes and Resources
- In late summer and fall, we will deliver five free classes on basic seed saving. These will be held at various branches of Multnomah County Library.
- We are also developing online resources for seed savers.
- We are creating a collection of special seeds which are meaningful to local gardeners. We are sourcing unique varieties from local seeds savers from diverse backgrounds. The collection will feature a number of varieties from immigrants, refugees and people of color.
- We will promote the rich cultural and family stories associated with the seeds. Staff will define parameters and communications plan for the collection.
- We will store collected seeds at a seed bank located at our office in NE Portland.
- We will host a public seed exchange in January in conjunction with the National Seed Swap day. The event will be held at the Midland Library in East Portland.
- Starting in February of 2017, we will have locally saved seeds from our seed bank available to nonprofit, school and educational groups for free.