Seed at Public Libraries

Seed can be obtained at a number of our local public libraries, in what has become known as “seed lending libraries”.

The seed available at many of these libraries include both commercial seed (packaged by seed companies, so complete with the requisite quality controls imposed on commercial operations) as well as seed turned into the lending system by those area gardeners who save seed from fruits and vegetables that they grow. It should be noted that seeds contributed by gardeners represent both an opportunity and a challenge. The core opportunity is the ability to help with seeing to the diversity within the gene pool of locally grown plant varieties. The big challenge? The fact that many of our local gardeners don’t know how to properly save seed. Novice gardeners may not even have a clear idea of what it is they are actually growing. The issue has resulted in some “lending” libraries deciding to operate instead as “commercial distribution” libraries. While this removes the problem, it also removes the benefit of using multiple gardens to promote an increase in plant population (and with it, an increase in genetic diversity).