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NMSU Valencia County Extension celebrates seed library opening with workshop

LOS LUNAS – Help celebrate the grand opening of the Valencia County Extension Heritage Seed Library by attending the 2016 seed-saving training.

Man in maroon shirt looking through card catalog drawer
Newt McCarty, NMSU Valencia County Extension agricultural agent, looks through seeds in the newly established Valencia County Heritage Seed Library. Valencia County Extension will hold a seed-saving workshop on April 28 for gardeners who would like to participate in the seed library. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service office in Valencia County is kicking off the opening of the seed library with a seed-saving training from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at the Extension office, 404 Courthouse Road in Los Lunas.

“Saving seeds is one way to become more engaged in your garden, whether it is vegetables or flowers,” said Newt McCarty, Valencia County Extension agricultural agent. “It’s almost a lost art; fortunately there is a renewed interest in this historical tradition.”

With some generous donations from local growers and seed companies, the seed library has an inventory for this season.

“It’s great to see the excitement and interest in the library throughout the community,” McCarty said. “I’m really excited to get these seeds out into the community this spring and looking forward to seeing what comes back this fall to restock the library.”

To reduce the risk of non-viable or diseased seeds, the seed library organizers are requiring that donations come from individuals who have attended a seed-saving training.

“As gardeners collect and save seeds from the best-of-the-best each year, they take gardening to the next level,” McCarty said. “They become more aware of the plant: its fruiting habits, adaptability to the environment and the produces’ taste. The gardener starts selecting for those traits they wish to build upon.”

A seed library is a way for community members to share their favorite plants’ seeds. A library maintains its collection through donations from members. A common attribute of many seed libraries is to preserve agricultural biodiversity by focusing on rare, local and heirloom seed varieties.

The Valencia County Extension Heritage Seed Library is housed at the county Extension office, 404 Courthouse Road in Los Lunas.

For more information about the seed-saving workshop, contact McCarty at 505-565-3002.