The Downers Legacy
WHY A SEED LIBRARY?
Heirloom Seeds: Family Treasures Worth Passing Down
It's been several years since we first opened our doors AND our "drawers" currently at the Downers Grove Public Library.
Of course we're talking about the drawers of the old-fashioned card catalog upstairs in the library in which we are storing hundreds of open pollinated heirloom seeds.
What's different about these varieties of seeds?
These heirloom seeds can make an exact copy of themselves every time they reproduce, which represents our future breeding capabilities if we need to adapt to hotter and drier conditions.
There was a time around 1900 when the diversity of these seeds, mostly brought to America by millions of immigrants, was in its glory. Garden catalogs were bursting with distinctly different kinds of vegetables such as cabbage, corn, cucumber or carrot. Gardeners had an almost endless choice of food crops to try.
However, since that time, different cultural, mechanical, meteorological and societal changes have come to bear on our seed choices and 95% of these glorious seeds have gone extinct. These open pollinated beauties are what a seed was intended to be: the most powerful living thing on Earth!!!
How to use the Downers Legacy Seed Library...
The concept is simple:
Borrow seeds from the library
Grow them in your own garden
Save seeds from a few plants
Dry & Label those seeds and return some to the Library
Let's rediscover this lost art and have some fun doing it!
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Downers Legacy Seed Library
Founded by Vicki Nowicki
Our Mission Statement
The Downers Legacy Seed Library serves the community-at-large and the Planet Earth as it protects the diversity, security and quality of our future food supply.
We do this by preserving our rare and in peril heritage food crops whose seeds hold valuable genetic material.
When you join us in this process, your are giving back connections to our culture and our history by preventing the loss of these older, beloved foods.
Inciardi Paste Tomato
A member of John Inciardi's family who lives in Texas, contacted Vicki when she saw an article about "Inciardi Tomatoes" in a magazine. She said "Would you like some family pictures?" We said of course! The Inciardi Paste Tomato is just one of the many heirloom varieties available in our seed library.
We are currently located in the Downers Grove Public Library. Our seed catalog can be found on the second floor.
Seeds are available to the public.