The Michigan Seed Library Network is excited to announce the 2023 seed for One Seed, One State is ‘Grand Rapids’ lettuce! It is a frilly, non-bitter leaf lettuce that is easy to grow and may be eaten as baby lettuce as early as 28 days after planting! If you trim the leaves above the crown and they will regrow, and if individual plants are allowed to grow larger they will form loose heads. Growing and saving seeds from lettuce is easy, and we encourage all of our participants to give seed saving a try!
‘Grand Rapids’ lettuce was developed by Eugene Davis of Grand Rapids, who became known as the “father of forced lettuce’ in the late 1800s. Extremely cold-hardy, ‘Grand Rapids’ lettuce is credited with establishing the greenhouse winter lettuce industry in Grand Rapids that supplied the Great Lakes region and beyond for decades. Still popular, ‘Grand Rapids’ lettuce is in the pedigree of many crisphead varieties.

Each year, seed libraries across the State of Michigan come together to promote growing, saving, and sharing seeds! When choosing our seed, we try for a Michigan connection. The ability to easily grow and save seeds from the plant in all parts of the state is a requirement. Each seed library receives seeds and access to digital promotional materials, including a full-color poster and a brochure with growing and seed-saving instructions.
New this year was the ability to register multiple libraries. Some library systems prefer to receive and handle OSOS materials for their branch seed libraries at a central location. If this works for you, have one designated person apply for all the branches. If you want each branch to handle their own One Seed, One State materials, have each branch register as an individual seed library.
Registration is limited to public, academic, or tribal libraries or other community organizations that are open to the public.

MSLN cannot supply seeds to persons or families that are not affiliated with a public or academic organization. We encourage individuals in search of seeds to find a seed library near them using our interactive Michigan Seed Library Map. If you don’t find a seed library near you, stop by and encourage your library to consider opening one. Better yet, volunteer to help organize the project using the resources on this website!

Registration is now closed for the 2023 One Seed, One State. Please submit a contact form if you have any questions about registration.
We were thrilled to serve over 200 seed libraries with One Seed, One State kits in 2023! The Michigan Seed Library Network’s One Seed/One State is run entirely by volunteers and funded by donations. Each participating organization in the One Seed/One State program contributes by filling and labeling their seed packets, setting up the display, and promoting the program locally. Participants are asked to provide feedback and a photo of their display at the end of the program.

Seed and materials for the 2023 One Seed, One State were donated by Rosy Dawn Gardens

History of One Seed, One State

In 2019, The Michigan Seed Library Network announced our first One Seed, One State initiative to be held in 2020. Seed Libraries across the State of Michigan would come together to promote growing, saving, and sharing seeds! Due to mandated library closures in early 2020, we made the difficult decision to delay the program until 2021.

Despite the delay, the 2021 One Seed, One State initiative was a success! 63 Seed Libraries in Michigan registered, each receiving a kit with seeds, packets, and promotional materials. Many thanks to Seed Savers Exchange and Nature & Nurture Seeds for donating seeds for our program. A big thank-you also to the Capitol Area District Library and the Lyon Township Public Library for donating printed materials and for Deb Lynch of Grosse Pointe Public Library for creating our beautiful seed packets made from discarded library books.

The seed we chose for our inaugural outing was ‘Provider’ bean. ‘Provider’ is a delicious green snap bean with a bush growing habit and great vigor and disease resistance. It is known for its ability to germinate in cool soil, and beans are usually ready to pick and eat in 50-55 days. We wanted to choose a dependable vegetable that is easy to grow so that our gardeners would have a positive experience, and ‘Provider’ green bean fit the bill!

The One Seed, One State seed selection for 2022 was ‘Boston Pickling’ cucumber, an American heirloom with a Michigan connection! It was introduced in 1877 by the Detroit seed company D. M. Ferry & Co. It produces quickly from direct sowing in 55-63 days. It can be harvested at 2”-3” for pickles or at 5”-6” for slicing. ‘Boston Pickling’ can be trellised to save garden space. This selection gave us an opportunity to take a step forward in seed saving! Together, we learned more about isolation, hand pollinating, and processing of wet seeds.