The MN SEED Project is growing almost as quickly as the hundreds of seeds its participants are sowing.
A joint venture among the hort society, Como Community Seed Library and garden educator, Stephanie Hankerson, this community science project connects local Minnesota gardeners with seeds from native plants. A hallmark of the program? The many free events open to anyone interested in learning more about collecting, processing and sharing native plant seeds.
In April, the MN SEED project brought hands-on activities to Como Park’s Celebrate Spring event in St Paul. A month later, the project participated in the Mighty Midway Spring Festival in St. Paul's Hamline Midway neighborhood—event goers threshed, winnowed and sieved plant material to yield clean seeds ready for stratifying or planting. Seed packets and hot tips were flying. And we're just getting started. This summer, look for MN SEED at more community fairs and events, including V-FEST and the Gibbs Farm's Pathways to Dakota & Pioneer Life’s Apple Festival.
This fall, look for more in-person seed collection sessions. All ages are welcome to roll up your sleeves and harvest seeds at various gardens and naturalized sites throughout the Twin Cities. This series not only teaches the basics of seed collecting, but also provides access to dozens of native plant species, expanding our collective native pollinator plantings. Many of the 250,000 seeds from 67 native species harvested during 2021 collection events are now germinating and will soon be be added to backyard and community plantings across Minnesota. One St. Paul neighborhood is using plants propagated from a MN SEED source for a right-of-way greenway project!
Wondering how you can connect to this local native plant seed-keeping cycle? It's easy. Here's how:
- Join the MN SEED Project and start receiving regular email updates
- Check out the seed saving tools and more resources
- Plug into the MN SEED's iNaturalist project to identify and track your native plants.
What are you waiting for? Dig in!
Stephanie Hankerson, an independent garden educator, longtime St. Paul resident and co-founder of the MN SEED Project, has been leading garden and sustainability programs in public and private spaces for 25+ years.
To learn more, join a webinar or workshop...