Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library      
Lettuce Unite!
Little Free Seed Libraries 
May 2020 - Issue #19

In this Issue
Little Free Seed Libraries
Need vegetable seeds? Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is a nonprofit located in the main branch of the Richmond Public Library. Even though the public library is temporarily closed, we wanted to continue to provide access to free seeds and classes. As a result we have launched Richmond Grows Little Free Seed Libraries in a number of places in town. Each site has only four types of seeds available. Availability is constantly changing. The list of locations and varieties can be found on the Richmond Grows' home page. 

Getting Seeds
  • Wear a mask
  • Know what seeds the location is providing ahead of time to minimize time at the location
  • Consider patronizing these community businesses while getting seeds.
  • Don't call them about availability.
  • Take what you need. There are some things that we have very limited quantities. Those seeds are marked "Take only 1."
  • Take what you touch.
  • Plant what you take.
  • Learn about seed saving

Borrowing Seeds from Richmond Grows Little Free Seed Libraries
Borrowing Seeds from Richmond Grows Little Free Seed Libraries

Richmond Growsanniversary
10 years of sharing seeds!

May 1st we celebrated our 10th anniversary! Here's a little of what we've done since opening:
- Offered tens of thousands of seed packets to our community
- Focused on providing unusual and rare varieties of seeds to protect biodiversity while providing food access
- Created the seed library as a replicable model that has been used to help launch hundreds of seed libraries around the planet. There are now over 700!

We are a 100% volunteer organization and all of your money will go to buying seeds and materials to make seeds and education available for free for our community. 

Contributions are tax-deductible through Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library's fiscal agent, Urban Tilth. 
Do you have a basil plant? Want some basil but can't get any seeds? Try propagating more basil from cuttings. Please share some of your plants with others or ask friends and family if they can give you a few branches from their basil plant. REMINDER: Treat all material as potentially infected. Wear a mask. Wash hands or wear clean gloves before cutting and sharing any material or picking up cuttings. After putting the cuttings in water, wash your hands and let the cuttings sit until rooted. 
Propagating Basil: Grow an INFINITE Supply Forever
Propagating Basil: Grow an INFINITE Supply Forever

We have a limited number of basil seeds. They will be available to people who:
1. Propagate seeds using the above method and give cuttings to friends and neighbors AND
2. Let the plants go to seed at the end of the season.
This seed will be what we offer next year!

NOTE: Letting plants go to seed often takes an extra 6-8 weeks in the garden. So if you have limited space for growing this is not going to be the best things.

We have several varieties of basils, and the seeds are a bit old so there are no guarantees here. Some should grow though. Email us if you are interested in growing and propagating basil. 
Tomatoes for Alltomatoes!
It's too late in the season to start tomatoes from seed. However, if you have a tomato plant or know someone who has a tomato plant, you can make a new plant from a cutting! It's super easy. Let's all propagate tomatoes from cuttings and share with friends, family, and neighbors. Tomatoes for all! 

REMINDER: Treat all material as potentially infected. Wear a mask. Wash hands or wear clean gloves before cutting and sharing any material or picking up cuttings. After putting the cuttings in water, wash your hands and let the cuttings sit until rooted. 

How to Clone a Tomato from a Cutting - Free Plants!����
How to Clone a Tomato from a Cutting - Free Plants!����
A Local Treasure!
Great, Great Aunt Rosie's Italian Pole Bean
Great, Great Aunt Rosie was a relative of one of my neighbors. They've been saving this delicious Italian pole bean for generations here in the East Bay. The bean has been named after the woman who passed it down to her family. It's good as a green bean. It is excellent as a shelling and soup bean. Heavy producer!

Great, Great Aunt Rosie's Italian Pole Beans are available at the Richmond Grows Little Free Seed Library, 624 31st St. Monday-Friday. Please wear a mask. My mask protects YOU. Your mask protects ME.

Learn to save seeds so you have some for next year. It's super easy. Just let the seed pods dry on the vine. Save from multiple plants. Shell. Put in a labeled envelope or jar. Share some seeds with friends and plant next year!
New Gardener Resourcesnew
Check out our New Gardener webpage. We have the resources in Spanish too. Let your friends who are getting interested in gardening know about the resources.

You can also join our East Bay Gardening forum to share tips and strategies and learn from others. 
Subscribe: Note: You need to confirm your subscription. All posts need to include hashtags. Follow topics or mute others to get the most out of the group.  

There is also a free e-book from the Contra Costa County Master Gardeners called the Vegetable Gardening Handbook for Beginners. The Contra Costa Master Gardeners' website has lots of great resources for both new and experienced gardeners. Here's the list of what to this season. Consider signing up for their newsletter to get tips and ideas about what to do in the garden at that particular time. 
Ca calendarlendar
Absolute Beginner's Vegetable Gardening Class
Sat., May 16th, 1 - 3 PM
Free, online

Wed., May 20th 6:30-8:30 PM
Free, online

Are you new to gardening?

Join us for a class for absolute beginner gardeners. Learn about:
  • what to grow and when to grow it
  • sunlight requirements for different plants
  • how to start plants from seeds
  • how to build your soil
  • what plants do well in containers
  • how to properly plant seeds and starts
  • the basics of watering your plants
  • what to do if your plants aren't thriving

You'll get the login information a few days before the class starts. 
Seed Saving in a Time of Crisis
Sat. May 30th 1-3 PM
Free, online
Beefy Resilient Grex Bean
Learn how to save seeds from common vegetables such as beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers.  94% of commercial varieties that were available 100 years ago are gone and the biodiversity that we have left will be stewarded by community members like you.  Explore how seed saving can enrich your life, save you money, and preserve biodiversity. Help save heirlooms of the past and breed heirlooms of the future. Create more resilience in your life and community by saving seeds!
Beans (Pole & Bush)
Brussels Sprouts
Squash (Summer & Winter)


Planting times list of common vegetables

NOTE: It is too late to start tomatoes, eggplants, & peppers from seeds.  
Absolute Beginner's Vegetable Gardening 
Sat., May 16 1-3 PM

Absolute Beginner's Vegetable Gardening 
Wed, May 20 6:30-8:30 PM

Seed Saving in a Time of Climate Crisis
Sat., May 30 1-3 PM

Master Gardener Series: Vegetable Gardening 
Free through May 27
4-6 hour, self-paced

Seed School Online
Self-paced, online course
Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and Urban Farm
Banner Photo
Purple snow peas
by Rebecca Newburn

Do you have a banner  photo you'd like included? Email us.