We are packing seeds today for the Matsu Seed Library We have our amazing volunteers that help us put seeds from the big bags into the little bags.
Without these folks, we wouldn't be able to keep our seed library going.
So a seed library's focus and intention is to distribute seeds to as many people as possible.
And over time, a seed library's catalog of seeds will include locally adapted varieties of plants that have been grown out by seed library members that are acclimated to the climate in which you live.
One of the things that you'll see in those library cabinets are varieties that you aren't going to find at the Fred Meyer or the local stores that sell seeds because they haven't been selected carefully to adapt or work with the climate that you're actually living in.
I have worked with Master Gardeners to select open pollinated varieties that will work in your garden at home.
My parents garden.
Growing up in Texas, I remember learning how to canned food and jellies.
It just always tasted so much better than what you get at the store.
And it became a family environment.
Whenever we did all those activities and when I had children, I wanted to pass that on to them.
So brothers got it in there.
I moved up here with my family in 2015 and was shocked when it came to gardening.
I had to relearn everything all over again.
Certain varieties are very sensitive to the long daylight that we have, and of course we've got a very short growing season up in Alaska.
Most of the things that I was used to growing don't even grow up here unless you have a greenhouse.
At the beginning of COVID.
Seed companies started shutting off orders.
We are already in a pretty volatile situation here in Alaska, where 95 sometimes the statistics say 98% of our food is shipped up that we eat in Alaska.
We can't afford to have our seed supplies cut off like that.
And I said, you know what?
I'm going to do something about this.
From there, the seed library was born.
The time went on.
We started meeting at the senior center in Wasilla, and recently we've been having homeschool kids come in.
So we have the aspect of the elders and the children coming in together.
It really became a sense of a family and a community talking about gardening and learning about what they did in their life growing up and what kind of gardens they had.
And so it's just been a really amazing experience to bring the elders teaching the children.
Did you plant your brussel sprouts yet?
I feel passionate about this because I think our answer to our food insecurity issues are right in our own backyard.
We need to have as many home gardens as possible so we can get back to sharing together growing more food locally.
Building communities by just simply starting something in your backyard.
It could even be some lettuce on your porch.
There's a sense of empowerment and pride that we have and we can grow our own food, and I want to share that.
One seed at a time.