One Seed, One Community: Sunflowers

Dear friends,

As librarians working with the Seed Library, our job is to help nurture a community-supported regionally adapted seed supply that is free and accessible to all Pima County residents. We are always exploring new ways to empower gardeners to grow as seed savers. Three years ago, the Seed Library started the community-wide One Seed initiative, opens a new window as one way to encourage more gardeners to incorporate seed saving into their gardening. Like One Book, One Community, we embrace the idea that through shared experience, in this case, of growing, learning, and saving seeds together, we can achieve a greater sense of (comm)UNITY and move closer to a locally sustained, people-powered seed shed.

As we continue to grow participation in One Seed Pima County, we invite you to join us in planting seeds for this season’s chosen plant, the Black Russian Sunflower in your community or school garden.

And in the spirit of planting seeds, next year, let’s plan to get together as a community to envision future One Seed Pima County efforts!

As the saying goes, it starts with a seed. We hope you will consider planting seeds with us!

In community,
PCPL Seed Librarians

The Scoop on One Seed:
  • April 20th: The Library’s One Seed Pima County (OSPC) 2019 will kick-off in time for Earth Day. Planting will continue throughout the spring & summer planting seasons.
  • April 20th through mid-August: Library branches across Pima County will have Black Russian Sunflower Seeds for OSPC participants to check-out. They can also be reserved online for pick-up. We will have bulk seed quantities of seeds for community partners to plant (school & community gardens, etc.)
  • April through September: Through social media, blog posts, and interactive programming, we hope to increase awareness of how to grow, use, and save seeds from the Black Russian Sunflower. OSPC participants are encouraged to visit the Library’s calendar of events, opens a new window (new programs will continue to be added and can be found by searching for “One Seed Pima County” in events).
  • August and ongoing: While we encourage OSPC participants to join us on September 21st for our One Seed Weigh-off and Wrap-up at participating library locations, OSPC participants can return a portion of their completely dry harvest of Black Russian Sunflower Seeds to any library location, anytime.
  • September: the Black Russian Sunflower Seeds we save as a community will be combined together to become one, community-wide seed donation that will sustain our growing for future generations.
Special Considerations:

We are asking OSPC participants to commit to only growing this one variety of sunflower this season if they are planning to contribute some of their saved Black Russian Sunflower Seeds to the library. If other varieties of sunflowers are growing nearby they can cross-pollinate, increasing the likelihood of hybrid seeds which cannot be shared through the Seed Library.  

Social Media:

Highlight the planting, growing, and seed collecting of the Black Russian Sunflowers using the hashtags #OneSeedPimaCounty, #CommunitySupportedSeeds, #BlackRussianSunflower and #SeedLibraryPCPL on Facebook and Instagram.
How to participate...
  • Check-out a packet of Black Russian Sunflower seeds from the library
  • Plant them in your garden—please only plant this one  variety of sunflower if you are planning to participate and save seeds
  • Explore the library’s calendar of events, opens a new window for special programs on sunflower gardening and seed saving
  • Watch your Black Russian sunflowers grow
  • Share photos on social media of your sunflowers as they grow using the hashtags #OneSeedPimaCounty #PCPLSeedLibrary #CommunitySupportedSeeds
  • Harvest your sunflowers seeds
  • Bring a portion of your saved seeds into any PCPL library or hang on to them and join us on September 21st for our One Seed Weigh-off and Wrap-up at participating library  locations. Your donation will join the donations of other gardeners, ensuring we have seeds to plant for seasons to come.
  • Please remember to fill-out a donation form and  attach it to your donation!

While supplies last, participants will take home this lovely stake to place in their garden!