Being a garden blogger has its perks...free plants and seeds. Every year, the packets come in, some I purchased and some from suppliers who want me to try things out. I plant what I can, and what I can't use, I donate to the seed library in my town. As I am gearing up to plant in the ground, my library donation delivery happened this morning, and it got me thinking that you might not realize that there are lots and lots of seed libraries across the country. Seed libraries help foster seed saving and can help to ensure the health of our natural world.
New community seed sharing programs are appearing across the country in the form of seed libraries. Through these programs, members receive a small amount of seeds to grow and save, returning a share to the library for others to “borrow.” Seeds are very adaptable and will gradually adjust to the conditions where they are grown. By saving from the plants that grow best, seed library patrons can contribute to developing strains that are unique to their community.
New libraries are popping up all the time, and so I thought I would share a list of them that I compiled for New Englanders last spring. If you know of any that I missed or if you are outside of new England and want people to know about you library, please feel free to post it in the comments - just make sure you list the state, town and location of the library.
Image: Artwork by Olivia Mew for the Hudson Valley Seed Library. The Hudson Valley Seed library is one of my favorite seed companies...not just because they have an excellent collection of open pollinated and heirloom seeds but because they also commission artists for all of their seed packets. Each one is a treasure. Art and seeds really are made for each other.
SEED LIBRARIES IN THE NORTHEAST
• Fairfield Woods Branch Public Library, Fairfield, CT
• Concord Seed Library at the Concord Public Library, Concord, MA
• Groton Public Library, Groton, MA
• Hardwick Grows Seed Lending Library, Hardwick, MA
• Harvard Farmers Market Library at the Harvard Public Library, Harvard, MA
• Hampshire College Seed Library, Amherst, MA
• Littleton Seed Library, Littleton, MA
• Springfield City Library (Pine Point Branch), Springfield, MA
• Hooksett Seed Lending Library, Hooksett, NH
• Langdon Library Seed Library, Newington, NH
• David St. Germain Seed Library, Providence, RI
• Cranston Public Library, Cranston RI
• Broome County Public Library Seed Lending Library, Binghamton, NY
• Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, Ithaca, NY
• Hudson Valley Seed Library, Accord, NY
• Urban Seed Library, NYC, NY
• Pine Plains Seed Library, Pine Plains, NY
• Somers Seed Lending Library, Somers, NY
• Huntington Seed Library, Huntington, VT
• Montpelier High School Seed Library, Montpelier, VT
• Rutland Free Library, Rutland, VT
• Warren Seed Library, Warren, VT
• Windsor Seed Library, Windsor, VT
RESOURCES FOR STARTING YOUR OWN LOCAL SEED LIBRARY: RICHMOND GROWS SEED LENDING LIBRARY IN RICHMOND, CA, HAS AN EXTENSIVE WEBSITE WITH LOTS OF RESOURCES FOR STARTING A LIBRARY (RICHMONDGROWSSEEDS.ORG).