Tag Archives: Butte County Library

New Flower Seed!

CSLL May LGT

We had a fabulous ‘Lettuce Get Together’ yesterday. Thank you CSLL volunteers, once again, for all your help keeping our inventory up to date!

We’ve added some gorgeous new flower varieties to the mix this month! Come on in and check ’em out!

  • Foxglove -Faerie Queen
  • Zinnia -Moulin Rouge
  • Amaranth -Elephant Head
  • Sunflower -Tall Yellow, Mammoth and Junior
  • Calendula -Flashback
  • Cosmos -Sunshine
  • Blue Fax -CA native
  • CA Poppy -Copper Pot and local
  • Lovage

You can see the list of all CSLL’s Flowers/Herbs and Other Seed or view our entire inventory of hundreds of packs of seed for all your garden needs. Happy growing!

 


The Chico Seed Lending Library (CSLL) is a partnership program with the Butte County Library, GRUB Education Program and Earthshed Solutions.

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New Tomato Varieties

CSLL April LGT

Our warm season seed inventory grew at our last ‘Lettuce Get Together’ thanks to volunteers! We have many new varieties of TOMATOES and new flowers and herbs as well.

TOMATO VARIETIES

  • Tigerella
  • Pink Ponderosa
  • Pink Caspian
  • Jubilee
  • Beefsteak
  • Stupice
  • Black Krim
  • Brandywine OTV
  • Chadwick’s Cherry
  • Marvel Stripe

We have both determinant and indeterminate varieties to choose from; each packet tells you which is which. What does that mean?

There are two main growth habits for tomatoes (from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange):

Determinate varieties grow to a certain height (usually 2-3ft) then stop growing and mature all of the fruit in a short period of time.  Many paste tomatoes are determinate. These varieties are great for canning and well suited to growing in short or split season areas

Indeterminate tomatoes keep growing, flowering and setting fruit until stopped by frost, disease, or really bad weather. Most Cherry and large beefsteak tomatoes are indeterminate, They need to be caged or staked with a really sturdy support.  Most really large heirloom tomatoes are indeterminate. These varieties are great if you have plenty of space, warm summer temperatures, and a long enough growing season.

What herb goes fantastic with tomato? BASIL! And we have several varieties to choose from.

BASIL VARIETIES

  • Dark Opal Purple
  • Genovese
  • Italian Pesto
  • Mammoth
  • Profuma di Genova
  • Queenette Thai basil

Now all you’ll need is a good sourdough baguette and some quality olive oil and you’re in for a real treat!


Check out the latest seed inventory pages for the full breakdown of what Chico Seed Lending Library has for you to borrow, grow out, harvest and return!

COOL SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

WARM SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

FLOWERS/HERBS AND OTHER SEED

tomato banner only

New Cool Season Seed

 

CSLL Feb LGT.2

Our cool season seed inventory grew at our last ‘Lettuce Get Together’ thanks to volunteers! We have many new varieties including shelling peas, snow peas, bulbing fennel, and collards.

For the beginning seed saver:

  • Snap Pea
  • Snow Pea
  • Shelling Pea
  • Lettuce

For the intermediate seed saver:

  • Spinach
  • Beet
  • Chard
  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Bulbing Fennel

And for the expert seed saver:

  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Radish
  • Collards
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Bok Choy
  • Arugula

Keep in mind this is just the cool season seed. We’ve added more herbs and wildflowers like Parsley, Thyme, Cilantro and CA Poppy. We also added just a few warm season seed like Sorghum and Eggplant but keep an eye on the list, we’ll be adding many more warm season seed in the months to come.

Check out the latest seed inventory pages for the full breakdown of what Chico Seed Lending Library has for you to borrow, grow out, harvest and return!

COOL SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

WARM SEASON VEGETABLE SEED

FLOWERS/HERBS AND OTHER SEED

Flower-Herb

5,357 Packs of Seed!

CSLL Seed Borrowing chart image 2014-2017FIVE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED FIFTY SEVEN! That’s how many seed packs our community has borrowed from Chico Seed Lending Library over the last 3.7 years. There have been over 1,600 seed packets borrowed in 2017 alone -AND we have not finished recording the year!

This is hundreds of thousands of individual seed being planted in our community!

We keep track of this information by taking seed inventory each month (with the exception of a few months) in order to gauge the success of the seed library overall as well as to see what kind of trends in borrowing occur over the course of the year and what types of seed people seem most interested in borrowing.

CSLL borrowing by month 2014-2017

The above graph illustrates seed borrowing of all types of seed per month (with the exception of a few months each year and September through December of this year). The trends have changed somewhat over the years. In 2014 March and May were prime borrowing months yet in 2016 April and June were the months most seed was borrowed. And in 2017 March and August were the best borrowing months. It’s fascinating to see what the trends tells us and speculate on the reasons why…

Warm Season 2014-17

Cool Season 2014-17

FHM 2014-17The 3 graphs above illustrate each type of seed we have in our collection and the borrowing trends over the last 3.7 years. We categorize types by Cool Season, Warm Season and Flowers/Herbs/Medicinals (which also include CA native seed). This helps us see the overall trend in seed type people borrow most. It’s clear that, for an as yet unknown reason, people are borrowing Cool Season seed less than in the last few years. But Warm Season and F/H/M seed are on an obvious upward borrowing trend.

While this data is not perfect it does help CSLL seed librarians, who oversee the library’s seed stock, know what type of seed are of most use to our community -which then helps us ensure we have plenty available for borrowing.

We are still in the process of collecting data on Returned seed. If you have seed you have borrowed and wish to return it to CSLL please make sure to follow the seed protocol we have in place and ensure you give your seed to the Chico Library reference desk staff so we can keep track efficiently and also provide you with a huge Thank You!

seed thanks

 

 

Seed Inventory Update!

5-15-2017 (2)
8 varieties of Bush Bean, 5 varieties of Pole Bean, Yardlong, Cow Pea, and Edamame!

Chico Seed Lending Library now has more than 23 varieties of Beans for your growing, eating and seed saving pleasure! ALL beans are ‘Beginner’ so a very easy type from which to save seed. Please consider growing out some of these varieties and returning them to CSLL!

Simply allow some of the beans to dry in their pods on the plants before collecting, but gather them before they shatter. Spread the collected pods on a tarp and gently step or rub the pods together to separate the pod from the seed. Blow the chaff away using the wind or a fan and collect the seed. Here is a video from Sow True Seed which shows you how. Do ensure the seeds are completely dry before storing in an airtight container. Then follow the steps on our seed donation page and bring some back to CSLL!

Family Common Name Scientific Name Variety Qty
Fabaceae Yardlong Bean Vigna unguiculata Thai Suranaree 10
Fabaceae Tepary Bean Phaseolus acutifolius var. latifolius Mitla Black 14
Fabaceae Tepary Bean Phaseolus acutifolius var. latifolius Gold 8
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Rolande 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Provider 14
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Kentucky Wonder -bush 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Black Turtle 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Royalty Purple 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Harvester 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Nickel Filet 10
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris French Filet 14
Fabaceae Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris French Marcotte 12
Fabaceae French Bush Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Roc d’or 9
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris German Pole Bean 12
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Blue Lake 12
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Mama’s Cannellini 11
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Old Homestead 13
Fabaceae Pole Bean Phaseolus vulgaris Kentucky Wonder -pole 12
Fabaceae Runner Bean Phaseolus coccineus White Emergo 3
Fabaceae Cowpea Phaseolus unguiculata California blackeye 10
Fabaceae Lima Bean Phaseolus lunatus Henderson’s Baby 1
Fabaceae Soybean Glycine max Surge 1
Fabaceae Soybean Glycine max Edamame 10

More than 300 seed packs were added to our inventory at our monthly ‘Lettuce Get Together‘ yesterday, thanks to volunteers who help us keep our inventory strong! Check out the full CSLL seed inventory for the list of all seed we have available for you to borrow.

Since January of this year CSLL members have borrowed more than 1000 seed packs, which is almost double what was borrowed in all of last year! We now ask that members also return some seed so we can locally adapt this seed to our bioregion! We have helpful information on Donating and Returning Seed but feel free to contact us if you need additional information to info@chicoseedlendinglibrary.org!

beans

 

3,663 Seed Packs!

csll-seed-borrowing-chart-image-2014-2016

THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED SIXTY THREE! That’s how many seed packets our community has borrowed from Chico Seed Lending Library over the last 3 years. There was 1,500 seed packets borrowed in 2016 alone!

We keep track of this information by taking seed inventory each month (with the exception of only a few months) in order to gauge the success of the seed library overall as well as to see what kind of trends in borrowing occur over the course of the year and what types of seed people seem most interested in borrowing.

borrowing-by-month-2014-16

Above is a graph which illustrates seed borrowing of all types of seed per month. It’s clear that April is THE month people are most engaged in the seed library… which makes sense as this is a prime gardening month. The soil is warm so seed germinates easily and the warming weather allows plants to grow quickly.

warm-season-by-month-2014-16

cool-season-by-month-2014-16

fhm-by-month-2014-16

Above are 3 graphs which illustrates each type of seed and the borrowing trends over the last 3 years. We categorize types by Cool Season, Warm Season and Flowers/Herbs/Medicinals (which also include CA native seed). This helps us see what types people are borrowing overall in certain months of the year.

This data is not perfect but does help CSLL seed librarians, who oversee the library’s seed stock, know when and what type of seed are of most use to our community which then helps to ensure we have plenty available for borrowing.

This year we will begin collecting data on seed that is Returned to the seed library as well as donations made to CSLL. If you have seed you have borrowed and wish to return some of that seed please make sure to follow the seed protocol we have in place and ensure you give your seed to the Chico Library reference desk staff so we can keep track efficiently and also provide you with a huge Thank You!

We hope our community is enjoying CSLL and we wish you all a great gardening year!

Tomatoes!!

Tomato banner 8-9-16
TUESDAY, AUGUST 9th from 4:30 – 7:00pm in the meeting room of the Chico Branch of the Butte County Library (1108 Sherman Ave. Chico, CA).

Do you have tomatoes coming out of your ears?

If you do bring in some of your favorite varieties for a Tomato Tasting and Seed Saving Demonstration! You’ll learn how to process & save your tomato seed for next season and taste some delicious local tomato varieties. And even if you don’t have buckets of tomatoes come on in anyway and enjoy!

At 4:30 we’ll start with our Seed Library Orientation for those who are new or would like to know more about how to best utilize CSLL. We’ll provide information about how our seed borrowing system works, our different levels of seed saving for returning or donating true to type seed and how to advance your knowledge of seed saving in general.

Around 5pm we’ll start packing seed for our inventory and discuss our monthly seed topic which is TOMATOES!

At each and every ‘Lettuce Get Together’ you are able to:

  • Become a member of CSLL (the only requirement is to be an existing library card holder; if you’re not it’s free and easy to do!)
  • CSLL Orientation to learn how to best utilize the seed library
  • Check out up to 5 seed packs per season
  • Seed saving education and discussions (discussions include timely local gardening information)
  • Package up diverse seed varieties

We hope to see you at our ‘Lettuce Get Together’. You can join our ‘LGT’ on Facebook too!

In Seedy Abundance,

~The Chico Seed Lending Library Team
Sherri Scott, Jane Hirtel, Joan Bosque, Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper and Sarah Vantrease

(CSLL is a collaborative program lead by Earthshed Solutions, GRUB Education Program and the Butte County Library)

CSLL Logo color 2016

New Seed Varieties!

 

We have many new varieties of seed!

 

At our June ‘Lettuce Get Together’ yesterday our wonderful volunteers helped package up summer grains for CSLL members to borrow. The varieties are so unique so we thought to share a bit more about them than the simple list we have in our Seed Inventory.

CSLL LGT 6-14-16 (5)
Jobs Tears seed (Coix lacryma-jobi)

The first photo is a grain called Jobs Tears. From the Poaceae family this summer grain grows much like its relative corn. And like corn Jobs Tears do like water and are a perennial in areas with no major frost. Its beautiful seed can be used for crafts and the seed has a small hole in the center which makes it perfect for use as a bead in jewelry! It has also been used as a grain and medicine for centuries in Asia.

CSLL LGT 6-14-16 (3)
Sesame seed (Sesamum indicum)

Next is Sesame! This variety was grown and shared with CSLL by co-founder and primary seed educator, Sherri Scott.  We also have an Afghan variety donated to us from Redwood Seed. Sesame is VERY heat and drought tolerant so is a perfect grain choice for our bioregion.

As Redwood Seed tells us on their website they are, “Graceful plants produce multitudes of tan sesame seeds along tall stalks. The dried seeds taste nutty; they can be dry roasted and used whole in cooking or ground into a paste.  Beautiful white flowers are tubular.” Sesame is a gorgeous plant all on its own as one can see from the photos here.

CSLL LGT 6-14-16 (6)
Hopi Red Dye Amaranth seed

One more unique seed variety is the Hopi Red Dye Amaranth. This gorgeous amaranth plant is grown for both it’s nutritious edible greens as well as its vibrant red dye. The Hopi have mixed the plant with flour corn for centuries to make their world-renowned piki bread. Native Seeds/SEARCH tells us how to make piki bread or tortillas, “To use Hopi Red Dye for piki or tortillas, soak a large handful of flowers, leaves, and stems in water overnight in water. Mix the water with finely ground cornmeal to the desired consistency. It will result in a pink or fuchsia colored batter. Alternatively grind the flour bracts on a metate and add to cornmeal.

CSLL LGT 6-14-16 (7)
NEW SEED TO BORROW!

In addition to the varieties we mentioned above we have LOADS more seed for you borrow, as you can see from the photo at left. So come on in, check them out and CHECK THEM OUT!!

Thanks for supporting CSLL and have a great beginning to summer!

In Seedy Abundance,

~The Chico Seed Lending Library Team
Sherri Scott, Jane Hirtel, Joan Bosque, Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper and Sarah Vantrease
(CSLL is a collaborative program lead by Earthshed Solutions, GRUB Education Program and the Butte County Library)

 

March ‘Lettuce Get Together’

Bean banner 4-14-15

March 8th from 4:30 – 7:30pm at the Chico Library meeting room (1108 Sherman Ave.)

We will hold our Seed Library Orientation for those who are new or would like to know more about how to best utilize CSLL. We will provide you with information about how our seed borrowing system works, our different levels of seed saving expertise for returning or donating true to type seed and how to advance your knowledge of seed saving in general.

While we package up BEAN seeds for our seed inventory we will talk about BEGINNER SEED CROPS. Beginner seeds can be fairly reliably saved without cross-pollination. These crops are a great place to start and learn about saving seeds and include:

  • Asteraceae (lettuce, sunflower, artichoke)
  • Fabaceae (bean, lentil, pea, peanut)
  • Solanaceae (tomatoes in particular are Beginner in this family)

We will also have a ROOT TASTING to enjoy sharing our crop harvest of the early spring season. Carrots, radishes, turnips, parsnips, beets and more. You can bring a certain variety you enjoy and/or make a dish with the root crop for sharing potluck style.

At each and every ‘Lettuce Get Together’ you are able to:

  • Become a member of CSLL (the only requirement is to be an existing library card holder; if you’re not it’s free and easy to do!)
  • CSLL Orientation to learn how to best utilize the seed library
  • Check out up to 5 seed packs per season
  • Seed saving education and discussions (discussions include timely local gardening information)
  • Package up diverse seed varieties


We hope to see you at our next ‘Lettuce Get Together’!!

‘Lettuce Get Together’ Book Club 12/9/2014

dec book club bannerCSLL Book Club Tuesday, December 9th from 5-7pm at the Chico Branch, Butte County Library, 1108 Sherman Ave. Chico, CA

Join us for our first ever Book Club ‘Lettuce Get Together’. In addition to packaging up seed for members to borrow we will discuss the incredible book, ‘The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food’ by Janisse Ray.

You can read more about this book at the publisher’s website here. This book is also available at our Butte County library!

PLEASE NOTE: We meet in the main part of the library right next to the seed library.