Image credit: Richmond Grows
Last week I wrote about a community-run seed library and suggested that public libraries could get in on the act—offering regional and heirloom varieties of seeds for sharing alongside more traditional lending materials like books and CDs. It turns out this wasn't such a crazy idea. In fact, one public library in California is already doing just that.Our reader Rebecca—who was responsible for the video about the Berkeley seed library, as well as the recent video about collecting scions for rare fruit growing—alerted us to the existence of the Richmond Grows Seed Library housed at the Richmond Public Library in California. But the idea, Rebecca tells us, is not just to promote seed saving in Richmond. The project was also designed to inspire and inform the creation of seed lending initiatives in public libraries around the country:
"People can come down to the public library and "borrow" seeds for free after they have watched our on-line orientation or attended an in-person orientation. We also provide free classes on seeds saving, starting seeds indoors, and other gardening related classes. We've created the model as one that can be easily replicated by other communities on our "Create a library" page. Since our opening in May 2010, we've heard from or about 20 communities that have expressed an interest in opening up seed libraries in their public library."
This really is green community activism at its best. By promoting seed saving and lending as a central part of the community library, these initiatives are reaching as broad an audience of would-be gardeners and biodiversity activists as possible. And they're making it easy too. Check out the Create Your Own Seed Lending Library page for information on how to start your own.
In the meantime, here's the orientation video for the Richmond library.
More on Seed Saving and Genetic Diversity
A Community-Run Seed Library: Shouldn't Every Library Loan Seeds? (Video)
How to Collect Scions for Growing Rare Fruit (Video)
Growing Apple Trees from Seed
Untouchable Organic Seed Bank: Saving Seeds and Empowering Women
Saving Seeds is Critical to Fighting Climate Change
Seed Libraries Prove Tough to Sprout
Massive Russian Seed Bank at Risk of Demolition