The 2020 seed selections are the Jacob’s Cattle Bean (bush) and the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean (pole).

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.  We encourage the community to Save a Row for Diversity. Annually, about 4776 people borrow seeds from, and 238 people return seeds to Seed Libraries in California.*

Save a Row for the Diversity is a program of dedicated gardeners saving a row of each year’s selected seed to generate more seed to donate to their local seed libraries and other community groups. Thus the community will have locally grown seeds to plant the following year.

The 2020 selections are the Jacob’s Cattle Bean and the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean.

 Silicon Valley Grows, One Seed, One Community 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.

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 One Seed, One Community, our community unites in cultivating the same plant and creates a pool of locally adapted 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.

*Civic seeds: new institutions for seed systems and communities—a 2016 survey of California seed libraries by Daniela Soleri