July 4, 2012

Seed Lending Libraries

Wouldn't it be great if we could check out more than just books at the Davis Public Library? I learned recently that a handful of libraries around the state host seed lending libraries, usually in partnership with local gardening organizations. The libraries allow people to "check out" seeds and then return them in the form of the seeds they save at the end of the season. That is so cool!

SF Seed Library Poster

Turns out there are a bunch of seed libraries in Northern California. The San Francisco Seed Library is a partnership between the SF Public Library and the Permaculture Guild. San Mateo County Library's East Palo Alto Branch partners with Collective Roots to lend seeds (there's a video here where library staff explain how it works). In Berkeley, the Ecology Center hosts the Bay Area Seed Interchange Library, known as BASIL. At Richmond's seed library there's a weekly "Crop Swap" where people can get rid of extra produce in exchange for picking some veggies from another gardener's abundance. And closer to home, the Sacramento County Library's Colonial Heights branch has a seed library. A Girl and Her Fork has a great blog post showing exactly how that library works.

(Courtesy, SF Seed Library)

In Southern California, a group of people got together to create the Seed Library of Los Angeles, which is independent and which you can join for $10 for a lifetime.

It makes me wonder if anyone has ever approached the Yolo County Library about creating a seed lending library in our area and whether they would be willing to host one. What a great public service it would be to make seeds available for free to people who are trying to grow more of their own food. Any local readers out there who are interested in starting something like this in Davis? Let me know!

5 comments:

  1. Art of San DiegoJuly 6, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    What a great idea! Long live libraries...

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  2. Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library has a "Create a library" page on our website, http://RichmondGrowsSeeds.org, with an explanation and downloads to organize a library in your community. Additional resources, including a start-up toolkit, are also at http://SeedLibraries.org

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    1. Those are fantastic resources--thank you for pointing them out! Your "Create a Library" page is great, and also a reminder of how much initial work is involved in setting up a library. It would definitely require at least a few committed people, or one person with tons of time to dedicate to the project.

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  3. We are actually almost to the point of creating a Seed Library in a public library in Davis. We have the seeds, we have a network, we organize seed swaps, now we need a few more very dedicated people who will be part of the project. We created a seed library in the Domes Yurt this summer and we will soon create another one in Village Homes. Let's save seeds in Davis!

    Melanie, DSSA.

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    1. Thanks, Melanie! It's so exciting to see this project happening in Davis. Have fun at this Sunday's swap.

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