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Above and beyond seeds

Above & Beyond Learning Opportunities

Academic Support Opportunities give every student the support they need to master high standards, and provide same-day interventions to students who are struggling.

  • Homework Center
  • Academic Labs
  • Saturday Academy

Common Ground helps students connect with off-campus opportunities, as well:

  • Evolutions at the Peabody Museum
  • ArtSpace internships
  • Elm Shakespeare Fellows
  • Sports teams at other high schools
  • Summer College Prep Programs

Common Ground’s After School Program is driven by the interests of our students, and led by our amazing staff. This is one of the reasons we say we offer big school opportunities in a small school setting! Check out some of our STEM-based after school opportunities in the video to the right.

  • Dance allows students to explore hip hop and other dance forms throughout the year.
  • Cooking Club meets both virtually and in person, with recipe kits delivered to students’ doors.
  • Visual arts programs allow students to express themselves and build their portfolios.
  • Rap & Poetry allows students to write & record music, create beats and lyrics,
  • Cooking Club encourages students to cook tasty food fresh from the farm — some to eat, and some to share with those in need.
  • Recreational Athletics occur every day between 4 and 5 pm during a normal school year.
  • The Common Ground Hawks — our basketball team — competes in the New Haven Small Schools League.
  • Students can also play sports for local schools.
  • Student Leadership Team gives students voice in important decisions.
  • Every after-school program pushes students to take leadership — and students must assemble a portfolio of leadership work to graduate.
  • Community Service opportunities happen weekly: from cooking for the Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen, to tutoring elementary students, to rebuilding trails in West Rock Park.

Every semester, students participate in Presentations of Learning and Leadership, sharing what they’ve accomplished. Here a student performs an original piece on his guitar as part of the presentation from Songwriting.

  • Robotics club, created by students, is busy building robots from the ground up.
  • Science Fair participants compete in New Haven and state-wide competitions.
  • Science Club explores a range of hands-on science challenges.
  • Strategy Games meet four times a week for minds-on, social fun.
  • Scavenger hunts, field trips, capture the flag, and other after-school activities help students relieve stress and get exercise.

Adventure Club offers students an opportunity to hike, backpack, climb, ski, snoeshoe, canoe, and bike — often for the first time. Thanks to Common Ground’s gear locker — created with support from the Appalachian Mountain Club and Trailblazer — students have access to the equipment they need to take on any adventure.

Our Above & Beyond programs run for two hours a day after-school, with special opportunities before school and on weekends, as well. On any given day, more than half of our student body is after-school.

Common Ground’s after-school programs are made possible through grants from the AT&T Aspire program, the Connecticut After-School Grant Program, and the 21st Century Learning Community program.

Five Different Sizes

Recommended for two adults wishing to supplement their diet with fresh, nutritious, truly organic produce, the Piggy Bank contains over 70 heirloom seed varieties packed in a US Army ammo can, along with a Texas Ready Mittleider Gardening Chart.

Product Categories

Gardening Library

Liberty Seed Banks

Garden Nutrition

Over 70 varieties of non-hybrid, non-GMO heirloom seed

Lab certified to meet or exceed minimum USDA germination rates. All five sizes contain the same general mix of breeds; only the quantity of seed and instructional material varies.

All Liberty Seed Banks come with a Seed Viability Guarantee

Because we sell only USDA certified seed, Texas Ready is the only seed bank company offering a full guarantee on the quality of their seed stock.

The Treasury (30+ Adults)

This bank contains enough seed for a year-round garden for at least thirty adult feeding units. Includes over 70 different heirloom varieties, plus books and garden nutrition. Cultivated properly, this monster will grow acres of food!

Hear What Our Customers Have To Say

Thank you, Lucinda, for being one of the highlights of the show. I loved your presentation, wit and humor. I’m looking forward to digging into the books I bought from you and planning my fall garden with the seed bank stock.

I teach Master Gardeners in Amarillo how to grow vegetables and fruits for their families. Your selections are great and I now have a new personal favorite for a melon. The Ananas is the best tasting melon I’ve ever grown!

Thank you, very much. I was quite impressed with your assessment and explanation of the need for variety in the same veggie (such as tomatoes). Your devotion, passion and hands-on trials of your trade mean so much more than the “degrees” of others in the same field. You’re doing what people will need to do. Thanks and keep it up!

I have never received a package so quickly or wrapped so well, and the box is bigger than I thought. I can’t imagine the size of the Treasury! The video you did for the gentleman at the Denver Expo was AWESOME. After seeing that, I quit looking at the competitor’s products. Your knowledge and thoughtfulness in preparing what goes in these is what gave me the confidence to buy from you! You rock!!

I purchased a PIGGY BANK last weekend. Your comment about providing enough seeds was spot on, with some envelopes having hundreds of seeds (rather than thirty as commercial packages have). The many varieties were also impressive. My only regret is downsizing and not having purchased the SAFE, per my original instinct. Thank you for making a difference.

“Texas Ready” represents a state of mind, not a growing zone. Whether you live in New York or New Mexico, South Carolina or South Dakota, the heirloom breeds included in our TEXAS READY seed kits are guaranteed to perform well in your region.

If you cultivate your garden according to the instructions in the Mittleider Gardening Course, you should reap an abundant harvest in your first growing season with or without a green thumb. YOU CAN DO THIS!

Each of our banks contain over 70 open-pollinated varieties of non hybrid, non-GMO seed all personally selected for the bountiful home-grown production of tasty and nutritious vegetables, herbs, fruits and grains. Because we sell seed that is lab certified to meet or exceed USDA germination requirements for each particular breed, you may rest assured that your seeds will perform above and beyond all expectations.

Training Seminars

Texas Ready offers regular workshops on vegetable gardening, animal husbandry, food preservation & storage and other homesteading topics. Our monthly seminars are conducted at the Montgomery Community Center in Montgomery, Texas (there are nearby hotels for those wishing to attend from out of town).

Mittleider Gardening

The Mittleider Gardening Course (5th edition)

Texas Ready recommends, teaches and practices the Mittleider method of gardening. We consider it to be the cheapest, easiest, most efficient and most productive method of cultivating home-grown produce. It is also well-suited for families seeking a long-term solution for sustainable vegetable production within a limited growing space.

The TOP TEN reasons

why Texas Ready Seed Banks are more expensive than the competition

1) All of our seed varieties are USDA certified, meaning that they have been tested by independent agronomy labs to verify that their germination rates meet or exceed USDA standards, and that the seed is clean and free of debris and weed seed.

2) The heirloom varieties in our banks have been intentionally chosen based on their hardiness, productivity, speed to maturity and their ability to perform well in any growing zone within the continental United States.

3) The amount of seed given for each variety is very generous, allowing you to hold a reserve in case your garden falls prey to a rabbit, a rain storm, a late freeze or simple gardening inexperience.

4) The breeds included enable 2-3 different gardens throughout the year (assuming your growing zone allows for that), and also include a mix of determinate and indeterminate varieties. That means you’ll have veggies to eat as they ripen, as well as produce to preserve, freeze-dry or pickle.

5) The seeds in your bank have been carefully selected not only to provide the nutritive and caloric requirements one would hope to achieve in the garden, but also the culinary diversity that will make your taste buds sing!

6) Accurate, concise and easy to understand gardening information is available here on our website, or included with your seeds. Furthermore, we practice what we preach and are available to answer your calls should you have questions.

7) Our seeds come with a performance guarantee. Any breed (stored and cultivated properly) which fails to germinate to USDA standards within three years from date of purchase will be replaced with new seed at no charge.

8) All seeds come packaged in a repurposed US Army ammo box which protects the contents from light, moisture, vermin and humidity.

9) We provide a turnkey solution for persons, families and communities who wish to pursue a lifestyle of self-sufficiency; for those wishing to save on their grocery bills; or for anyone simply wishing to dine on healthy, organic produce straight from their own backyard.

10) For those in the greater Houston area (or who are willing to travel here), we offer hands-on training and gardening workshops on how to grow your own food. Come join us!

The Results are in!

We sold a Liberty Seed Bank to a local customer in September 2014, and recently bumped into her at a local farmer’s market. The bank had been in her refrigerator since that time, and she asked if she should purchase fresh seeds. We figured this would be a great opportunity to see how eight year old Texas Ready seeds would perform, so we had her do a germination test. She and her mother took ten seeds of each variety, placed them inside a folded wet paper towel and set them on top of her refrigerator. Here are the results.

Germination Rates

100% – 16 varieties
90% – 21
80% – 11
70% – 9
60% – 4
50% – 7
40% – 1
30% – 3
20% – 2
10% – 3
0% – 14
Total 91 Varieties

What does this mean?

We were very impressed with the results. 63% of the varieties had germination rates of 70% or higher, which we consider to be amazing for a bank this old. (Most of the varieties which scored low or zero were breeds that are known to be short-lived, which includes herbs, peppers and asparagus.)

What this means is that you can be assured that the seeds you buy from Texas Ready will perform as advertised.


BTW, she did buy a new bank, and will begin using it this year. Go Nancy!