Past Issues of Cool Beans!
Issue #1 August 2014
Issue #2 October 2014
Issue #3 January-February 2015
Issue #4 March-April 2015
Issue #5 May-June 2015 ... coming soon.
What's a Seed Library?
A seed library is a place where community members can get seeds for free or for a nominal fee and is run for the public benefit. Many seed libraries are open in public libraries and community centers. For some communities, getting folks to garden and grow some of their own food is the focus. For other communities, seed libraries may be created as an important step to develop a network of seed savers, to create locally adapted varieties, to respond proactively to climate change or loss of gene integrity due to GMOs or to preserve genetic diversity. Seed saving is something humans have done for over 10,000 years. Rejoin the ritual and start to save seed and share the abundance in your community.
This website features free resources on how to start a library, how to connect with others who have started libraries and offers resources and insight into how to maintain a library once started.
Let us know you're interested in starting a seed library by filling in our 2-3 minute survey. Periodically we send out awesome new resources or information on seed librarian gatherings. Once you've opened, we'll add you to our sister seed libraries list.
Click to sign the petition!
To: Directors of all 50 U.S. State Departments of Agriculture
Over 300 nonprofit seed libraries in the U.S. might be regulated out of existence due to misapplication of seed laws by several state departments of agriculture.
I believe seed libraries are key to a more secure and resilient food system. Seed libraries provide free access to seeds, protect the diversity of our food sources, and educate community members about growing food and saving seed.
I support citizens’ freedom to share locally saved seed with their neighbors. Laws designed to regulate commercial sales of seed should not be applied to noncommercial donations of seed or to seed libraries.
Therefore, I ask that you (1) issue a public statement declaring that your state’s Department of Agriculture’s seed enforcement policy does not include seed libraries, and (2) begin implementing regulations formalizing this policy.
If you carrot all about local seed, sign the petition.
International Seed Library Forum
The goal of the four-day event is to bring together experts from public libraries, nonprofits, universities, and food banks across the United States and in other countries to further improve access and management of local seed resources. The forum highlights the increasingly important role that seed libraries play in creating best practices for seed saving and seed sharing at the community level. Panel discussions will cover a wide range of topics including: increasing the quality, and diversity of community seed resources, establishing seed library protocols, documenting the seed library movement, increasing access for low income households, and nurturing the next generation of seed savers in school gardens. The forum also addresses recent regulatory challenges to seed library operations in several states.
The event kicks off with a field trip to the Mission Garden, a living agricultural museum of Sonoran Desert-adapted heritage fruit trees, local heirloom crops, and edible native plants. Other events include a community seed swap and a screening of the documentary, “Seeds of
Time,” followed by a Q & A session with agricultural policy expert Cary Fowler. The closing event features a celebration to benefit the Jardin Botanico de Oaxaca and the Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace with tamales, local music, and the pre-release of the May/June 2015 issue
of Edible Baja Arizona magazine. Complete schedule will soon be posted at the Pima County Public Library website.
REGISTRATION & FEES
The forum is free, and the online pre-registration deadline is April 17. Registration is limited to 120 participants, and some events will be open to the public.
Confirmed speakers include: Gary P. Nabhan (Author of Enduring Seeds, W.K. Kellogg Sustainable Food Systems Endowed Chair, Southwest Center at the University of Arizona); Cary Fowler (Author of Shattering, Agriculture Policy Expert/Senior Advisor, Global Crop Diversity Trust); Bill McDorman & Belle Starr (Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance & Seed School); Scott Chaskey (Author, Seedtime: On the History, Husbandry, Politics and Promise of Seeds); Cindy Conner (Author, Seed Libraries and Other Means of Keeping Seeds in the Hands of the People); Justine Hernandez (Seed Librarian, Pima County Public Library, AZ); Rebecca Newburn (Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library); John Torgrimson (Executive Director, Seed Savers Exchange); Ira Wallace (Southern Exposure Seed Company).