Our Seed Saving program trains local gardeners how to save seeds and creates networking opportunities for seed sharing.
Though small in size, seeds play a big role in sustainable food. Fostering local seed saving helps lower the cost of gardening and improve the productivity and flavor of locally grown produce. We collect and distribute productive, unique and delicious seed varieties by bringing local gardeners together to share and support each other’s seed saving efforts.
Learn to save your own seeds. In these workshops, you’ll learn the best varieties of vegetable seeds to save, how to tell when the seeds are ready for collecting, and how to store seeds to keep them viable. Watch our Portland Gardening Classes calendar for future classes.
We host a public seed swap in January in conjunction with the National Seed Swap day. This year's event was held at the Midland Library in East Portland on January 28. On March 3, we will share saved seeds from our seed library with nonprofit, school and educational groups. Sign up for this event.
SEED COLLECTING and STORIES
Grow Portland is creating a collection of seeds with special meaning to our area—the seeds will be stored at a seed library located at our office in NE Portland. These seeds will be shared with local nonprofit and educational gardens, plus large quantities will be shared with the public at our annual seed sharing event. We will also honor the lives of seed savers by recording the oral histories of their family’s vegetable seeds.
We are grateful to gardeners who are interested in sharing locally saved seeds. We are happy to share seeds from our collection in return. We are especially interested in varieties with the following characteristics:
- selected for location conditions
- new varieties bred in our region
- links to important local historical periods and events
- saved by immigrants, refugees, people of color and indigenous people
- unique, nutritious or especially flavorful
Info we would like to know about your seed:
- varietal, common and botanical name (if you know it)
- the origin of the seed and how you got it
- when you first sourced the seed
- what technique you use to grow the variety and what conditions it thrives in
More on seed stories: We would like to interview gardeners about special seed saved in our area and to gather more information about the life and experience of seed savers. In the interview, we will gather information of why the variety is meaningful, the heritage of the seed saver and how the seed arrived here. We will share a selection of stories about local seeds and gardeners through our website and outreach efforts.