The Community Seed Library, opens a new window is a collection of open-pollinated seeds available to library cardholders completely free! Members borrow a packet of seed. They grow the plants in their garden and at the end of the season, they let a few plants ‘go to seed.’ From those plants, they collect seeds and return one or two packets of seeds to the library for the following season. Because seed is a living thing, it must be renewed each year.
This project started as a conversation with community partners like ReThink Red Deer, opens a new window. A community seed library promotes food security by encouraging the community to keep and exchange open pollinated seeds that are grown locally, it promotes an awareness of the food system and their part in it, and it promotes a culture of sharing, self-reliance, and community resilience. It brings everyone into the local food system.
Work for the Seed Library started in the spring of 2022 with twenty 'seed starters' who attended two workshops, 'Get Growing' in the spring and 'Seed Saving' in the fall. In these two-hour workshops, ReThink Red Deer shared their knowledge on how to grow and save seeds. We contacted Peavey Mart, opens a new window Manager, Kevin Boucher, to request a donation of seeds to start growing the Community Seed Library. He donated packages of seeds for the ‘seed starters’ to grow as seed for the Community Seed Library. We chose seeds which were open pollinated so the seed could be saved. There were packages of edible seeds with good nutrient value and flower seeds for pollinators too.
The seeds were sown that spring. Gardening skills, newly acquired or through seasons of experience, were shared and we had a good season. In the fall of 2023 the saved seed was donated to the library. Seed savers filled in a form with as much detail as possible. This became the content in the seed catalogue. The seeds were then packaged and labelled for the Seed Library. You will be able to browse the seed catalogue and borrow three packages of seed this April. We hope you will sow these seeds in your garden and save seeds from one or two of your best plants to return to the library in the fall. We will need more seed saved to make seed accessible to everyone in the community.
This community has roots in growing. It is thanks to those who were willing to share their time growing and saving seed and fostering a culture of sharing, self-reliance, and community resilience that there is seed to borrow this spring!
Thank you Kelly, Megan, Ken, Laura, Megan, Jennica, Linda, Briana, Jade, Bethany, Teresa, Shelley, Corrinne, Ryn, Rene, Deb, Matthew, Lorna, Audrey, Nienke, Erin, Deborah, Lauren and Kathy.