Are you new to seeding and interested in establishing a seed bank in your neighborhood? Immersed in the seeding world and looking to connect with other folks and deepen your networks? Perhaps you’re an agriculturist interested in the intersection of seed lending and food sovereignty. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you won’t want to miss Seeding the Future: The 11th Annual Seed Library Summit.
Seed sharing has become a global phenomenon that can secure diverse and nutritious food for generations to come. We can all learn how to do it, too.
In May of 2010, spearheaded by Rebecca Newburn, the Richmond Rivets Transition Initiative opened the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library.
We would be remiss not to sow true, place-based seed sovereignty in every region and among every culture on this planet, well before a future crisis could uproot us again.
The problem Vivien identified, of people not wanting to be who they are, is reflected throughout many cultures. Even in the UK, there is a disconnect between wider society and traditional farming practices.
The organization’s Native American Seed Request program distributes up to 10 free or low-cost traditional seed packets, annually, among individual Southwest Native Americans, and regional tribe members who live elsewhere.
In 2014, I founded the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library. The Library and associated El Beir Arts and Seeds symbolize this core belief: that agriculture is truly comprised of both “agri” (traditional farming practices) + “culture” (the associated lifestyle/livelihood traditions essential to a community’s identity).
Tucked away along a country lane just outside Coventry is Ryton Organic Gardens and home of a charity, Garden Organic, which brings together thousands of people who share a common belief that organic growing is essential for a healthy and sustainable world. Open to the public, it’s a place more than worth a visit.
Around the globe, seed lending libraries have been sprouting up in public libraries. The seed libraries function very much like regular libraries, except instead of books, you check out seeds and bring them back once you’ve harvested them. These programs aim to improve access to seeds and preserve seeds for future generations. Seed libraries are just one way people can share seeds.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, a group of volunteers in the northern Montana city of Great Falls met in the local library to package seeds for their newly formed seed exchange, and to share their passion for gardening and food security.
There is nothing quite like the smell of the brewing of Arabic coffee prepared on burning olive branches, just pruned during the olive harvest. The smell of heil (cardamom) cooked in coffee, and the aroma of the burning wood, are almost as delicious as the day’s first cup sipped atop the dry limestone walls that separate the terraces of the wadi (valley).
In her new book, Seed Libraries: and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People, Conner does a deep dive into issues surrounding seeds and seed sharing.