Salish Seed Garden Update

Greetings, Fellow Seed Stewards! It’s been far too long since we have all joined together in the Community Seed Garden and we wanted to share with you all of the exciting updates for the 2022 season, and welcome the newcomers onboard! We hope that you all have weathered the flooding and the harsh winter alright and are starting to feel the inspiring energy of the bursting buds for the coming gardening season!

Please read on for info about the 2022 seed distribution sites (just launched!), a re-cap of the inaugural 2021 Community Seed Garden season (with fun photos!), and our plans for this coming year. And if you joined us last year, we welcome your feedback and ideas about what you loved and what adjustments we could attempt to make this year even better. In fact, as we are trying out a new email platform, we’d love to hear back from any who wish to just pop back a quick hello. SEED DISTRIBUTION SITES
 All those seeds so many of you helped to plant, tend, harvest, and clean last summer? They are going out to the community in our free seed displays! A group of dedicated volunteers has been working hard the past few months to build seed displays and package up thousands of packets of seed from what we grew together! This is supplemented by bulk purchased seed from northern seed companies we like, and donated seed from other companies, for the things we can’t grow, so that we can offer a full array of locally- and northern-adapted seed to local gardeners.
Free Seed Boxes ready to pollinate Whatcom County! We make an effort to serve lower income, disadvantaged, and rural communities, as well as having a few distribution sites easily accessible to all. A full list of our distribution sites and more information is here on our websiteDonations are encouraged in exchange for the seed packets, from those who can afford to contribute, so that we may continue to do this work of stewarding and sharing locally-adapted seed into the future. 
2021 Community Seed Garden Report
 Our inaugural season for the Community Seed Garden was an astounding success! With Inspiration Farm as host for the garden, together with 60 volunteers putting in over 600 hours, we grew over $5,000 in wholesale value worth of seeds for our distribution efforts. Once in packets, this translates to over $20,000 in seed packet value to benefit our community and contribute to local seed sovereignty with locally-adapted varieties.

We hosted 3-hour educational work parties once or twice a week, from April to October, sharing skills on planting, tending, harvesting, and cleaning various seed crops, using organic permaculture-based methods. In addition, we had four focused workshops, two on “Seed Saving 101”, one on saving tomato seed, and one for squash and cucumbers. We produced heaps of seed for beans (dry and snap), peas, lettuce, tomatoes, summer and winter squash, beets, spinach, favas, popcorn, grains, leeks, onions, cilantro, calendula, radishes, kale, basil, sunflowers, and parsnips. 

 We are excited to launch into Year 2 of our collective efforts to grow and learn together in the seed garden! We expect general work parties to begin in early April, and we are still working out dates and times for this year. If you are interested in volunteering in the garden and are not already signed up on our garden work day volunteer list, please do so here. And we’d love for you to share this opportunity with any friends and family members you think might be interested!

Do you have a school group or community group that would be interested in scheduling a specific work day together at the seed garden? Please reach out, we’d love to have you and work with your schedule!  If you are working with a community group that wishes to save some seeds at a different location, and would like some advice from or collaboration with the Salish Seed Guild, please let us know! 

 We are so grateful for the financial support of so many who contributed to our GiveLively campaign last year and for grants from the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Fund and the Community Food Co-op. We are currently an all-volunteer effort and depend on your donations to pay for seed packaging supplies, labels, fliers, posters, fertilizer, mulch, tools, and infrastructure such as a hoop house for seed starting and seed drying, and toolshed.

Our production, distribution, and educational efforts can all multiply with more financial support. Please consider making a donation and sharing our fundraiser with others. Click here to make an online donation, or to donate by check, put “Salish Seed Guild” in the memo and address it to: Sustainable Bellingham c/o Celt Schira 1028 12th St. Bellingham, WA 98225

2 thoughts on “Salish Seed Garden Update

  1. I’m not sure how I got on this list, but that’s fine! I have a bag of homegrown organic rhubarb seeds from last year, and would like to donate to anyone who would like them.

    1. You must have signed up on to receive posts. If you would like to donate seeds they can get packed up and brought to any of our distributing site where we have seed offerings. In my experience, Rhubarb is generally way easier to divide from a large plant then start from seed.

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