Southern Heritage Seed Collective

Aug 1, 2016 by

The Southern Heritage Seed Collective is a regional hub for garden seeds that do well in our north Florida climate. We collect purchased and locally grown seeds to offer to our community of gardeners each year for their home, community and school gardens. We know our growing climate well and talk to lots of farmers and gardeners to understand what thrives here. We use this knowledge to make smart choices for what seed to offer our members.

We only do business with companies we know and trust. We try to provide mostly open-pollinated and/or organic varieties to encourage seed saving. However in some instances a wonderful hybrid variety may be offered, and will be noted on the packet (Read here to understand the differences between the two). If you are capable of saving seed, you are encouraged to “return” any surplus to the collection.

We are dedicated to producing as much locally saved seed as possible. Grown at our small farm in Gainesville or from small gardens around town by people like YOU, we apply selective processes to save the best seeds for our climate to improve crops over time, while also passing on the knowledge and skills to growers so they too can save seed. It is so important for us to become seed secure, collecting, growing and sharing the best crops for our unique climate. It takes a village!

Members support the collective by pitching in a minimum suggested donation of $20 per season (or $40 annually). This provides an abundance of seed throughout the year, coinciding with each growing season. Our seeds will supply most or all of your garden needs, except for individual preferences of certain varieties we cannot provide. Your $$ supports so much more than just seeds! Our programs require significant support from our community in order to continue. If you want to further support our ability to save southern seeds and help our community grow, consider joining at a higher level.

Much larger homesteading operations might require more seed. Contact us if this is your case before we make our orders and pack seed, so we can work something out for your scale.

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FAQ

How can I join this awesome seed library of yours?

You can sign up anytime online through our secure system by clicking the donate button below. If you’re into traditional ways, you can also print and fill out this application and mail it to us along with a check made out to Forage. You may also just show up to any of our events and sign up there. Your membership is good for one year, so it doesn’t matter when you sign up.

When can I pick up my seeds?

Seeds will be available at the beginning of each growing season: spring is early February and fall is early to mid September. Come to one of our seed dispersal events, which are posted on our calendar, emails and Facebook. Other times of the year, you may contact us to set up an appointment. Email Melissa, melissa@foragefarm.org.

Where are you located?

We have roots throughout the community! Our seed saving supplies are located at the Farm to School to Work Hub campus at Horizon, 2802 NE 8th Ave. Our temporary office is located at 1406 NW 6th St. You can set up an appointment to visit us and gather seeds and buy our cool stuff to help support our work. Email Melissa to set up a time: melissa@foragefarm.org. Our seed grow out locations are throughout the city and at our farm.

Is there a limit to how many seed packets I get?

While we don’t impose a limit, we ask that you be thoughtful with your selection. Take only what you will grow, and leave enough for others. We always have helpful staff and volunteers to advise you on the right varieties for your garden! If you have a larger garden and need more seeds, please chat with us and we can work something out. Many of our seeds are difficult to grow or purchase in bulk quantities so may be available in limited amounts. Also keep in mind in that our packets are designed for an average small-medium backyard garden. So you won’t find 50 eggplant seeds in your packs, but more like 25-30 (which is still more than enough for a couple years of eggplant, right?!)

Do you host seed and plant swaps?

Yes, usually once or twice a year after our seed distributions we host free community seed swaps. This is a great time to return any seed you did not use, while also picking up interesting things from other gardeners. We get lots of seed donations from various sources that we like to offer, but we can’t vouch for the quality. Have fun experimenting!

Can I save seed and bring any excess to you?

Yes! We will probably ask you a lot of questions about your seeds though; like where you got them from originally, how you grew them, whether care was taken to isolate varieties, any family stories or history behind it etc. Passing along information is just as important as passing along the seed! READ OUR BASIC SEED SAVING 101 FOR NORTH FLORIDA HERE.

I can’t really afford a membership right now, can I still join?

Yes! Gardening is for everyone. If you having tough times right now, don’t’ let that stop you from joining. Just email us and let us know.

seed saving

Students at the Farm to School to Work Hub learn valuable social, physical and life skills by working with seeds! They help us grow, package and clean some of our seed!

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