“Keeping seeds in the hands of the people”

Cindy Conner, a former Reynolds Horticulture instructor, has generously donated a copy of her new book Seed Libraries: and other means of keeping seeds in the hands of the peopleThis is the first book to cover the topic of seed libraries published in the United States.

Book coverCindy’s daughter, Betsy Trice, currently teaches Sustainable Agriculture at Reynolds and started the community seed library which is housed at our Goochland Campus Library. Cindy had mentioned it in her previous book, Growing a Sustainable Diet and her editor at New Society Publishers urged her to write a book on seed libraries. This February the book was published.

Cindy traveled the country visiting various seed libraries and documented how they work, where they are housed and how they are managed.

According to the book’s back cover Cindy’s book includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for setting up a seed library
  • A wealth of ideas to help attract patrons and keep the momentum going
  • Examples of existing libraries and other types of seed-saving partnerships
Seed library
Reynolds community seed library

There is increasing interest in how and where our food is grown and it all starts with having control over the seeds we plant.  Many gardeners want to grow and eat food that comes from seeds that are not genetically modified. There is also interest in heirloom varieties of vegetables.

More people are gardening and even those with small yards or balconies are planting in containers.  There are some good books available that address how to save and store seeds, but this is the first book that describes how to share them.  It is a most welcome addition to our library.

From garden to table – Eat sustainably

Cindy Connor, a former sustainable agriculture instructor at Reynolds Goochland Campus, is the author of a newly published book: Grow a sustainable diet: planning and growing to feed ourselves and the earth.  Cindy’s book is a Mother Earth News books for wiser living recommendation and is published by New Society Publishers. She recently donated a copy to the Goochland Campus Library.

Cindy’s book covers all aspects of growing food from garden design to preserving and storing the harvest.  Topics covered in the book are:Cindy's book

  •    Sustainable diet
  •    Garden maps
  •    Crop choices
  •    How much to grow
  •    Cover crops and compost – planning for sustainability
  •    Companion planting
  •    Rotations and simple garden maps
  •    Seeds
  •    Including animals
  •    Food storage and preservation
  •    Sheds, fences and other stuff


The book is nicely illustrated with planning diagrams as well as photos of tools she has found useful in her garden. She also includes a list of resources tied to each chapter as well as web addresses for her worksheets so that you can download them for use with your own garden planning.

In his foreword, John Jeavons, author of How to grow more vegetables: (and fruits, nuts, berries, grains, and other crops) than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine, says “I wish I had this book when I began gardening and planning diets over 40 years ago. What an advantage that you have it now!”

Goochland Library hosts seed library

The Goochland Campus Library is now host to a seed sharing library. Betsy Trice, an instructor in our Horticulture Department spearheaded the development of the seed library. It was started with donations from seed companies. She will be giving free one-hour workshops on how to save seeds. After people have taken the workshop, they may “check-out” seeds.

Seeds are organized by family and accompanied by information on when to plant, seed saving tips and more.

seed library2
Anyone who completes a seed saving workshop is eligible to “check-out” seeds. Most of the seeds on hand are for vegetables. There are also a few herb and flower varieties to choose from.
The next workshops are Monday, April 1st and Monday, April 15th  from 6-7 pm on the Goochland Campus. Email Betsy to save a spot.
Check with Betsy Trice for additional workshop dates and times. btrice@reynolds.edu.

Gardening Season is Upon Us…

vegetablegarden.jpgAnd just in time, Cindy Connor, a sustainable agriculture instructor at the Western Campus, has written and produced a video entitled Cover Crops and Compost IN Your Garden.    The video covers the growing season from March through November.   Ms Conner ‘s video describes different kind of cover crops and how they can be used to enrich the soil in the garden.  She explains that the root systems add nutrients to the soil and that it is not necessary to till in the cover crops to reap their benefits.  She demonstrates cover crops that can be used like mulch to protect garden plants and prevent weeds; others can be cut down to feed the compost pile.  This information is valuable whether you have a small vegetable plot or garden on a grand scale.  Check out this video from the Western Campus library’s popular video collection.