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Seed Saving: Family Heirlooms for Your Garden


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Marie Flanagan (3)

I’m a daughter of a seed saver. Each year, my mom carefully harvests and saves seeds from her prolific garden. A practical woman, she also taught me how to save seeds, so the beans, tomatoes, and dill that I plant today are the same seeds of the same garden goodies that I ate as a kid. The tradition is nostalgic and interesting to me. Each time I pinch a “rattlesnake pole bean” or a “scarlet runner bean” seed between my fingers, I think of my mom, her hard work, and her beloved garden. These seeds are my family’s heirlooms.

Seed savers are especially interested in the concept of heirloom varieties. The Seed Savers Exchange defines an heirloom as "any garden plant that has a history of being passed down within a family, just like pieces of heirloom jewelry or furniture. Some companies have tried to create definitions based on date, such as anything older than 50 years."

Now you can become part of the ever-growing seed saver/heirloom seed movement. The Annual Seed Saver’s Exchange will be taking place at the Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minn. this March 10 at 2 p.m. The historic farm has been leading seed saving activities in Minnesota since 1981. Seed-saving enthusiasts will gather and celebrate the seed saving tradition with seed art and a gardening presentation. Following the presentation, a seed swap will take place. Seed savers carefully package their seeds and bring them to swap with other seed savers, and the folks at the Kelley Farm make some of their saved seeds available. And you know what’s really cool? You don’t have to bring seeds in order to take some home. The event is free and open to the public and is for novice and expert gardeners alike.

Can’t make the event? No problem. You can still get your green thumbs on some saved seeds by visiting a local store with a Seed Savers Exchange rack. Here’s a list of locations selling Seed Savers seeds:
 

Abrahamson Nurseries
20021 St. Croix Trail N
Scandia, MN 55073
651-433-2431

Greenwood Plants
6904 NW 18th Ave.
Rochester, MN 55901
507-282-1988

Abrahamson Nurseries
2100 Tower Dr. W
Stillwater, MN 55082

Hillside Greenhouse
1934 4th Ave.
Windom, MN 56101
507-832-8300

Albert Lea Seed House
1414 West Main St.
Albert Lea, MN 56007
800-352-5247

Just Food Coop
516 S Water St.
Northfield, MN 55057
507-645-7415

Amelia's Flower & Garden Shoppe
910 W 36th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612-208-1205

Kingsley Mercantile
2 Main Ave. N
Harmony, MN 55939
507-886-2323

Andrew Skoog
3500 Vicksburg Ln. #334
Minneapolis, MN 55447
612-804-1143

Linden Hills Co-op
3815 Sunnyside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55410
612-922-1159

Becker Pet & Garden
1008 Washington Ave.
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Linders Garden Center
270 W Larpenteur Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55113
651-488-1927

Becker Pet & Garden
1008 Washington Ave.
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Mazopiya
2571 Credit Union Dr.
Prior Lake, MN 55372
952-233-9142

Bluff County Co-op
121 W 2nd St.
Winona, MN 55987
507-452-1815

Mississippi Market
1500 W 7th St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
651-690-0507

By The Woods/Diggin' In
78 W 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317

Mississippi Market
1810 Randolph Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55105

City Center Market
122 Buchanan St. N
Cambridge, MN 55008
763-689-4640

Moms Food Co-op
122 N Buchanan St.
Cambridge, MN 55008

Cook Country Coop
20 East First St.
PO Box 1433
Grand Marais, MN 55604
218-387-2503

Mother Earth Gardens
3738 42nd Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
612-724-2296

Delano True Value
1005 Crossings Dr.
Delano, MN 55328
763-972-7272

Rainbow Food Coop
103 S Main St.
Blue Earth, MN 56013
507-526-3603

Drummers Garden Center
281 Saint Andrews Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001
507-388-4877

Sailers Greenhouse
17011 Sunset Ave.
Shakopee, MN 55379
952-403-0630

East Side Food Co-op
2551 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
612-788-0950

Seward Coop
2823 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
612-338-2465

Eggplant Urban Farm Supply
1771 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55104
651-645-0818

Super Fresh Produce
2101 4th St. NW
Austin, MN 55912
507-438-2358

Good Earth Food Co-op
2010 Veterans Dr.
Saint Cloud, MN 56303
320-253-9290

University of MN Lanscape Arboritum
3685 Arboretum Dr.
Chaska, MN 55318
952-443-1403

The Granary Food Coop
47 2nd St. NW
Ortonville, MN 56278
320-305-9685

Viola Nursery and Greenhouse
3120 100th Ave. NE
Eyota, MN 55934
507-259-3272

Grassroots Cooperative
1917 2nd Ave.
Anoka, MN 55303
763-427-4340

Vintage Farmer
41 Oak Ave. S
Annandale, MN 55302
763-691-3925

 

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