As the centerpiece of the Library Seed Bank (LSB), I will create a Historical Seed Map by mapping old local seed companies using vintage seed catalogs.
Concurrently, this will be an interactive education tool to preserve the history of the varieties that were grown locally through the years. Also, it will be a guide for the local seed banks to identify these seeds as living history of their local area, and procure the varieties if they are still available
I hope this will progress to an open source, crowd sourcing research project. A pilot program will begin in the fall in an 8th grade classroom. This class will research the local area to find what was historically grown there. It will be interesting to see the angles that the students come up.
The Smithsonian has a collection of old seed catalogs that are available for in person viewing only. I will review the catalog collection to see how they can fit into the map.
To correspond with the first seed bank I'm doing with the McGowan Memorial Library in Pitman, New Jersey, I've created the first of the LSB Historical Seed Map Reference Card, which is on the left. This card template will list the varieties offered through local seed companies for a corresponding year.
Orol Ledden & Sons, was located in Sewell, New Jersey. Sewell is 3 miles from the McGowan Library. I have two Ledden's catalogs to work with, one from 1936, and one from 1955. I also have a Wm. Henry Maule catalog from 1939. William Maule is a well know seedman who operated his business out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maule's seed farm was in Newfield, New Jersey, which is 20 miles from the McGowan library.
On September 21, 2013, there is a well attended craft show in Pitman where I will introducing the seed bank. Seeds will be available as soon as the seed companies have the packages ready for 2014.
Look for memes on the Facebook page for LSB featuring my work as a photographer, and famous quotes related to seeds.
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