Seed Libraries Newsletter
Cool Beans!
September-October 2017- Issue #11
7th Annual Seed Libraries Summit
Every year seed librarians gather at the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, California for the Seed Libraries Summit. It is an opportunity to hear what others are doing, learn about challenges and solutions. Minutes from our meeting are here.

Mark your calendar for next year's summit. It will be the Wednesday of the National Heirloom Expo (Date TBA) from 4-6 PM in Santa Rosa, California.

Get Ready for Zero Waste October!
October is Zero Waste Month! Come join me, and take the 31 day Zero Waste Challenge. Besides doing the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library and the Cool Beans! Newsletter, I am a middle school science teacher. Last year my students and I did this 31 day Zero Waste challenge and it got me off my trash cans in my house! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

The school district where I work and the city where I live both adopted a resolution to make October Zero Waste Month.  My intention is to make this an international movement where each year in October we celebrate our successes around reducing our waste and make new commitments. Check out this blog post by Beth Terry, author of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too! that explains what we're doing in my school district. Just like with the start a seed library resources that I developed, I am hoping to make resources that are accessible and easy to use. One of your team members created 31 tips for kids to go Zero Waste that is in the blog post. Totally awesome! Share it with parents and teachers! We hope you join in the challenge. Get a bag and see what waste you create for the month, and then analyze it. Plastic is so pervasive, but there are alternatives.

If you have a social media account, please help us spread the word. I'm not much of a social media person. Here are some possible tweets. Feel free to tweak them before you tweet them:
Get ready for #ZeroWaste October.  31 day challenge starts Sunday! #breakfreefromplastic @PlasticFreeBeth

Going #ZeroWaste is easier than you think. 31 day #ZeroWasteChallenge for October.   #plasticfree

#ZeroWaste tips for kids! Get ready for #ZeroWasteChallenge  October  @goingzerowaste #plasticfree

China recently banned the import of 24 solid waste items. Here's an article about that. So there is added urgency to the timeliness of doing a Zero Waste Challenge. I found it fun, and it saved me a lot of money too.

Don't judge yourself if you make a lot of waste. The average American makes 4.4 lbs of trash a day (and that excludes the upstream waste). Take a look at what waste you are making. Define your true values and why reducing/eliminating waste is a goal.  Come from that deep presence. It's about progress not perfection.

Here is my waste for the last 9 months. Your feedback about the website/challenge will help me to make it more accessible for others.

Rebecca Newburn
Editor, Cool Beans!
Save those Tomato Seeds!
If you've never saved seeds before tomatoes are super easy to save AND have the next year's plants come out "true-to-type", which means they look like the parent plants. It is best to save seeds from a number of plants of the same variety. It's recommended to save seeds from 5 plants, but one is okay if that's all you have. 
  • Only save seeds from heirlooms and open-pollinated plants. Don't save hybrids.
  • Save from healthy plants.
  • Saving from more plants is better.

Book Worm
The Resilient Gardener 

In her latest book, The Resilient Gardener:  Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times, author Carol Deppe writes about how almost all crises or disasters are of a personal nature rather than being community wide.  This book is not about surviving a doomsday disaster.  The author writes that gardening was always a source of comfort and solace, until her terminally ill mother came to live with her in her final months.  Then she discovered that her garden was just one more source of stress added to her already stressful life.  Her garden thrived with care, but shriveled and sometimes died during periods of neglect.   In short, she had what she called a "good times garden", when she really needed a "resilient garden" that could survive through good times and bad.  She writes that gardeners need to be skilled at growing more than just salad, discussing the need for calories and protein in staple crops, and goes into much detail about the five staples that any backyard gardener can grow, harvest and store fairly easily: corn, squash, beans, potatoes, and eggs.  These crops are all high in calories and nutrients, but fairly low in the amount of work they require.  These crops will also survive through greater weather fluctuations of unseasonal heat, cold, drought, or heavy rains.  The book covers as much about storing and using these crops as it does to growing them.  There is much information about unusual varieties, where to buy them, and basic information about how to save the seed.  Although the book is specific to gardening in maritime Oregon, much of the information can be easily adapted to other climates.  Carol Deppe is an avid gardener and a scientist, with a PhD in biology, and is also the author of Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties .
Carol Deppe's Beefy Resilient Grex Dry Bean
Did you grow out Carol Deppe's Beefy Resilient Grex Dry Bean? We'd love to hear from you.  Email us:
1. Take a photo of your beans.
2. Send any comments about the beans to us. Ex. Growing conditions, disease resistance, size of plants, percent of different colored beans., etc.
3. Tell us where you live (Town, State).

Carol Deppe is breeding these beans as a part of the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI). We want to support her and the work of OSSI by continuing to work with this and other varieties, and not patenting our breeding work.

Seed Saving Courses
Seed School Teacher Training
October 1-6th
Denver, CO, USA
$600 for members, $750 nonmembers 
BC Seed Gathering
November 3-4th
Richmond, BC, Canada
Farm Folk City Folk
Sliding Scale

Grain School in a Day
November 4th  
Norwood, CO, USA    Register    ($40 for members, $50 for nonmembers) 
Offering a day long seed saving class?
Let us know and we'll include it
Cool Beans! and our Facebook page.
Biointensive Class
November 3-5 2017
Willits, CA, USA
600+ Open!
Sister Seed Libraries
- Have you opened?  
- Added branches?  
- Created a website?

Check the Sister Libraries List to see if your information is accurate and to find other libraries near you. Fill in this survey to help us keep the list accurate.

Seed Libraries Association
-  Resources on how to start & manage a seed library
-  Sister Seed Libraries pages
-  Inspirational projects associated with seed libraries
Seed Libraries Social Network
- Connect with bioregional libraries
-  Share ideas with folks with similar projects
Banner Photo
Midnight Purple Fava
Vicia faba
Grower: Rebecca Newburn
Photo credit: Rebecca Newburn