Saving Seeds is for Novice and Expert Green Thumbs

When I moved out of my parent’s house 15 years ago, my mother gifted me with a jar of her “rattlesnake snap” pole bean seeds. These are the same seeds of the same beans that I ate as a kid. Last Christmas, she presented me with a dozen or so packets of seeds she’s saved, from tomatoes to dill weed seeds. I have planted and harvested those seeds, and will continue to do so because it’s nostalgic and interesting to me. They are my family’s heirlooms.

Being the daughter of a seed saver, I like to plant saved seeds and heirloom varieties in my backyard garden. The Seed Savers Exchange is the largest organization worldwide devoted to preserving heirloom varieties. It 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.”

On March 4, you can become part of the ever-growing seed saver/heirloom seed movement. The 30th Annual Seed Saver’s Exchange will be taking place at the Kelley Farm in Elk River, Minn. The historic farm has been leading seed-saving activities in Minnesota since 1981. At 2 p.m. on March 4, seed-saving enthusiasts will gather and celebrate the seed saving tradition with seed art and a gardening presentation. And you know what’s really cool? You don’t have to bring seeds in order to take seeds 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:

Albert Lea Seed House
1414 West Main Street
Albert Lea, MN 56007
Phone: 800-352-5247
Drummers Garden Center
281 Saint Andrews Dr
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone: 507-388-4877
University of MN Lanscape Arboritum
3685 Arboretum Dr.
Chaska, MN 55318
Phone: 952-443-1403
Cook Country Coop
20 East First Street
PO Box 1433
Grand Marais, MN 55604
Phone: 218-387-2503
Linders Garden Center
270 W Larpenteur Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55113
Phone: 651-488-1927
2571 Credit Union Dr.
Prior Lake, MN 55372
Phone: 952-233-9142
Seward Coop
2823 E Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone: 612-338-2465
Hillside Greenhouse
1934 4th Ave
Windom, MN 56101
Phone: 507-832-8300
Kingsley Mercantile
2 Main Ave. N.
Harmony, MN 55939
Phone: 507-886-2323
Moms Food Co-op
122 N. Buchanan St.
Cambridge, MN 55008
Rainbow Food Coop
103 S Main St
Blue Earth, MN 56013
Phone: 507-526-3603
Viola Nursery and Greenhouse
3120 100th Ave. NE
Eyota, MN 55934
Phone: 507-259-3272
East Side Food Co-op
2551 Central Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Phone: 612-788-0950
Abrahamson Nurseries
20021 St Croix Trail N
Scandia, MN 55073
Phone: 651-433-2431
Grassroots Cooperative
1917 2nd Ave.
Anoka, MN 55303
Phone: 763-427-4340
Mississippi Market
1500 W. 7th St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Phone: 651690-0507
Abrahamson Nurseries
2100 Tower Dr W
Stillwater, MN 55082
City Center Market
122 Buchanan St. N.
Cambridge, MN 55008
Phone: 763-689-4640
Bluff County Co-op
121 W. 2nd St.
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: 507-452-1815
Amelia’s Flower & Garden Shoppe
910 W 36th St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: 612-208-1205
Super Fresh Produce
2101 4th St. NW
Austin, MN 55912
Phone: 507-438-2358
Linden Hills Co-op
3815 Sunnyside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55410
Phone: 612-922-1159
Eggplant Urban Farm Supply
1771 Selby Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Phone: 651-645-0818
Andrew Skoog
3500 Vicksburg Ln. #334
Minneapolis, MN 55447
Phone: 612-804-1143
Sailers Greenhouse
17011 Sunset Ave.
Shakopee, MN 55379
Phone: 952-403-0630
Greenwood Plants
6904 NW 18th Ave.
Rochester, MN 55901
Phone: 507-282-1988
Vintage Farmer
41 Oak Ave. S.
Annandale, MN 55302
Phone: 763-691-3925
Mississippi Market
1810 Randolph Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55105
Delano True Value
1005 Crossings Dr.
Delano, MN 55328
Phone: 763-972-7272
Good Earth Food Co-op
2010 Veterans Dr.
Saint Cloud, MN 56303
Phone: 320-253-9290
Mother Earth Gardens
3738 42nd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone: 612-724-2296
Just Food Coop
516 S Water St.
Northfield, MN 55057
Phone: 507-645-7415
Becker Pet & Garden
1008 Washington Ave.
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
The Granary Food Coop
47 2nd St. NW
Ortonville, MN 56278
Phone: 320-305-9685
By The Woods/Diggin’ In
78 W 78th St.
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Becker Pet & Garden
1008 Washington Ave.
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501