Growing Together: Seed Libraries

Submitted by CCCL_MichelleK

You may have noticed more seed libraries sprouting up in your community. Contra Costa County Library is helping to cultivate their growth in our branches.

Why are Seed Libraries important?
Seed libraries help communities develop plants for their specific region. When a plant grows successfully in a particular area, it means it is well-suited for the local soil and climate conditions. With each harvesting and replanting of seeds from the most successful plants in your garden, you’re helping select the plants that are best adapted to do well in those conditions.

Growing your own produce puts you in touch with what plants are actually in season locally. For example, if you’re buying a ripe tomato in the middle of winter, it’s out of season for your area because tomatoes are summer crops. That means the tomato is likely being shipped in from somewhere far away, which has a negative environmental impact. Knowing what is in season can help you find the freshest produce at the store – or better yet, grow it in your own garden with seeds from your community seed library.

That sounds great, but I don’t have space for a garden…
If you don’t have space for a garden, there are still good options available to you. You’d be amazed at how much you can get from growing plants in containers, and we have books to help you with that. One of my recent favorites is Tiny Victory Gardens by Acadia Tucker.

You can also check and see if there are community gardens with spaces available. UC Master Gardeners of Contra Costa have great resources on community gardens, including locations in Contra Costa County.

Check our website to see which libraries currently offer seed libraries, and check again in a few months to see which libraries have added them. 

In my next post, we’ll figure out what we want to plant, and when.