How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden

Inside: Who doesn’t love when something’s free? Discover how to get free seeds for your garden.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden | redleafstyle.com

With visions of rows of lettuce, tall tomato plants and cucumbers curling up trellises, you head to the nursery to grab some seed packets and bags of soil. Only to realize you also need containers. And, maybe some transplants in case the seeds don’t work out. What about fertilizer? And mulch?

Suddenly this fun gardening project has turned into a money pit.

Gardening expenses add up. But that shouldn’t get in the way of the fun. Growing your own food has so many benefits. Fresh air. Exercise. The joy of picking a plump, ripe tomato off a four-foot-tall plant you grew from a seed.

You’ll probably still need to buy some gardening supplies this season, but I have a secret way you can save money. It may seem like a small money-saver, but you can get all kinds of seeds for free—if you know where to look.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden | redleafstyle.com

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden | redleafstyle.com

3 little-known ways to get free seeds

The first option is by far the most accessible for newbie gardeners.

1. Find a local seed library

I recently discovered that my local public library offers a seed library. (The seed library is at the Ruiz Branch of the Kansas City Public Library if you’re local and interested.)

A little 20-drawer cabinet tucked away in a corner of the library houses dozens of herb, flower and vegetable seeds. All you do is pick out the ones you want and “check them out.” After you plant and grow your seeds, you harvest them and return them to replenish the seed library’s stock.

What a cool concept!

(P.S. If you’re in the Kansas City area, you can also check out Seed Savers KC, which offers a seed library with more than 200 varieties.)

How to find a seed library in your area:

  • Check at your local public library
  • Check with a community garden in your area
  • Join The Seed Library Social Network, an online forum that can connect you to a seed library and other gardeners in your area
  • Join the Seed Savers Exchange, a member-to-member seed swap

Even more benefits of seed libraries:

  • Find seeds specific for your region
  • Get heirloom seeds, old-time varieties that increase biodiversity
  • Improve your community through teamwork and shared interest in gardening

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden | redleafstyle.com

Seed libraries aren’t the only way to get free seeds. If you’re an experienced gardener, you could start delving into saving your own seeds.

2. Save your own seeds

The first time I saved seeds from bell peppers was easy because the seeds are right there and easy to grab from inside the fruit.

But saving seeds from other plants is a bit more confusing. What’s the method for saving cucumber seeds? Or tomato seeds? And how the heck do you save seeds from a carrot?

While saving your seeds is the most cost-effective option (and a personal goal of mine for the year,) it’s best to take it in baby steps. Saving seeds requires more know-how than you’d first expect, as I found out when I started researching the best seed saving techniques.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden | redleafstyle.com

And, if you’ve already started saving seeds, or plan to soon, you have another option for getting free seeds. From your friends.

3. Host a seed swap party

If you know a few avid gardeners, then host a seed swap party, where you each bring a few different varieties of saved seeds and swap.

If you’re not close to that level yet, keep this option in mind for your future awesome gardener self.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden | redleafstyle.com

I can’t wait to watch my tomato, bell pepper, lettuce, basil, dill, kale and spinach seeds grow thanks to the free seeds from my local seed library.

Starting my garden didn’t turn into a money pit, after all.

How to Get Free Seeds for Your Organic Garden | redleafstyle.com


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Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you haven’t noticed, Kansas City is happening.

This month, Vogue called Kansas City one of the ‘flyover cities’ worth “landing and lingering in.”

That’s why I’m doing this blog series; to share the hidden gems, the local favorites and the places you have to check out in Kansas City. (Check out last month’s favorite Kansas City things.)

Here’s what I’ve been exploring this month.


Cider Hill Family Orchard

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

Kick off fall by going apple picking at a local orchard. This year, I went apple picking for the first time ever and I can’t believe I haven’t done it before.

Cider Hill Family Orchard in Kansas City, Kan., covers 38 acres and has 1500 apple trees with 18 different kinds of apples. Wander through the groves and fill up a peck, half bushel or bushel full of apples.

If you’re hungry, there’s no shortage of apple cider treats. Grab some apple cider donuts, an apple cider slushie, or go the traditional route and ask for a cup of cold pressed apple cider.

There’s also a hay wagon ride and pumpkin patch for the kiddos.

The U-Pick apples are available as long as there are still apples on the trees. In October, opening hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com


City Market Farmers Market

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you’re looking for warty pumpkins, fairy tale pumpkins or just all-around different pumpkins, City Market is the place to go.

On the weekends, many of the farmers offer a variety of pumpkins in their stalls. Or, stop by the “pumpkin patch” in front of the Steamboat Arabia on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. through October. Juhl Greenhouse and Truck Farm, a local farm, hosts the pumpkin patch every year.

You’ll be able to find all kinds of pumpkins, gourds and winter squash for decorating, carving or eating.


City Market Coffee Roasters

Favorite Kansas City Things: September 2016 | redleafstyle.com

While you’re at City Market, stop by my favorite coffee shop in the city, City Market Coffee Roasters.

This local coffee shop roasts its own coffee beans, which are Fair Trade and organic.
And, if you’re craving a fall-themed drink, City Market Coffee Roasters has you covered. Ask for a pumpkin latte or a cinnamon cardamom latte made with homemade cinnamon cardamom syrup.

The coffee shop also just put in a new deck overlooking City Market Park. It’s a relaxing spot to enjoy the crisp fall air.


Related articles:
Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016
Weekend in St. Louis
Travel Planning Board

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

It’s hard to put your finger on it exactly, but I think it’s safe to say that Kansas City, Mo., is experiencing a Renaissance of sorts. This cow town that straddles a border with Kansas City, Kan., has really come into itself over the past few years—and the nation is taking notice.

Maybe it was the Kansas City Royals winning the 2015 World Series. Or, perhaps it’s the excitement for the KC Streetcar, which just opened in May and runs from the River Market to Union Station. Maybe it’s the ever-popular First Friday in the Crossroads Arts District every month or the blossoming vintage and antiques scene in the West Bottoms.

Whatever it is, Kansas City is happening. Whether you’re visiting Kansas City or you’ve been here all your life, it’s time to start exploring this city. I’ve lived here five years and I feel like I’m just now starting to discover everything Kansas City has to offer.

That’s why I’m starting this new blog series; to share the hidden gems, the local favorites and the places you have to check out in Kansas City.

Here’s what I’ve been exploring this month.


First Friday: Art Starts at the KC Library

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

Building on the momentum from the KC Streetcar, the Kansas City Public Library recently started hosting its own First Friday event. The Art Starts at the Library event is held in conjunction with First Friday, and the library is encouraging visitors to start their First Friday fun at the Central Library by enjoying its art galleries, live music on the rooftop and (I almost want to keep this one a secret) a complimentary bar.

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.comFavorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.comFavorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.comFavorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you haven’t seen the Central Library’s rooftop terrace, that’s reason enough to check out this First Friday event.


Brown & Loe Opens

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

A new bistro-style restaurant has opened in the River Market. Brown & Loe, 429 Walnut St., sits just outside the entrance to City Market square and occupies the long-vacant Merchants Bank Building.

Featuring Southern-inspired upscale American cuisine, the restaurant is open for brunch, lunch and dinner. The atmosphere feels elegant, but still friendly. If you love old buildings, like me, you’ll go gaga over the original marble from the building’s bank days and its other historic architectural details. It has a beautiful dark wood bar that runs the length of the building and a patio just next to Dutch Flowers, which is perfect as the weather cools down.

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

If you want to know more about Brown & Loe, look out for my piece on my dining experience there in the Fall 2016 issue of VintageKC magazine.


Day Trip to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

If you’re looking to get out into nature without traveling too far from Kansas City, I highly recommend Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. The highlights of this park include the Devil’s Icebox, which is a sinkhole where you can view an underground stream, and a natural rock bridge. There are also several hiking trails that are fun to explore.

The park sits just south of Columbia, Mo., and is about a two-hour drive from Kansas City.

Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com Favorite Kansas City Things: August 2016 | redleafstyle.com

I love traveling the world (more tips on that to come!) but I also think you can explore close to home if you have the right mindset. And, if you want more travel tips for Kansas City, be sure to check back here every month.



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Weekend in St. Louis
Travel Planning Board
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