One Seed, One Community

Silicon Valley Grows! One Seed, One Community aims to strengthen our community by providing a shared experience that teaches people how to grow nutritious food and save seeds.

The project began in 2014, as a collaboration between five libraries and a Master Gardener.  In 2015, it expanded to include other gardening and sustainability-focused organizations.

Silicon Valley Grows is based on “one city, one book” or “community read” programs such as Silicon Valley Reads. Instead of uniting a community in reading a single book, we find common ground by growing the same seed. Our 2017 selection is the Petaluma Gold Rush Pole Bean.

Participating libraries and gardens provide the public with free packets of this seed  as well as educational programs that promote growing, using, and saving seeds. Heirloom seeds are selected from the US Ark of Taste, a living catalog of more than 200 delicious and culturally significant foods in danger of extinction.

As a result of Silicon Valley Grows, our community unites in cultivating the same plant and creates a locally adapted pool of saved seeds.

By choosing seeds from the US Ark of Taste, we help keep these endangered foods in production and on our plates.

We solve a seed saving problem: Often times urban and suburban gardens are too small to grow the numbers of plants necessary to preserve genetic diversity in a plant variety. Growing as a community allows this burden to be shared across a number of gardens.

While the Silicon Valley is well known for its fast-paced focus on technology, our region was once a community of farms and orchards. Silicon Valley Grows helps our community to re-balance, providing a much needed opportunity to interact with the living, growing world.

The project targets both new and seasoned gardeners, providing an important opportunity for the two to interact and learn from each other.

This year’s participants include:

Campbell Library
East Palo Alto Library
Full Circle Farm
Gilroy Library
San Jose Public Library – Berryessa Branch
Santa Clara City Library
Santa Clara County Master Gardeners
Saratoga Library
Slow Food South Bay
Sunnyvale Public Library
Hidden Villa
Natural Gardening Company

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