Seed lending library

Basalt, CO's public library has added packets of seeds to its circulating collection: you grow 'em, pick out the best fruits, and harvest the seeds and give them back to the library for the next patron:

Here's how it works: A library card gets you a packet of seeds. You then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds from the biggest and best, and return those seeds so the library can lend them out to others.

Syson says tending a garden in Western Colorado can be frustrating. The dry climate, alkaline soils and short growing season keep many novices from starting. She'll take seeds from the plants that withstand pests and persevere through drought.

"If you save seed from those plants, already, in one generation, you will now be able to grow a plant that has those traits," Syson says.

How To Save A Public Library: Make It A Seed Bank [NPR/Luke Runyon]

(via Neatorama)


  1. So you continue to pick the fruits and veggies with the best genetic mutations over and over until you have something resilient and tasty. See some genetically modified food can be ok :) 

  2. One nice thing about some seed banks I’ve seen (and maybe that you’ve posted here) is that they stress you do not need to return with seeds next year. It’s nice if you do, of course, but they don’t want to dissuade people who are scared that they won’t be able to grow things and won’t be able to give the seeds back.

  3. From Vancouver, BC. 
    I was at “Seedy Saturday” last weekend at a local public garden.  In general, the food seeds on offer were open pollinated, organic, heritage varieties.  There were no “patented” varieties although there were some F1 hybrids on display. 

    Flower seeds were mostly native or heritage varieties.
    There was also a seed exchange table.  

    I think there very little danger of the Monsanto-ization of a public seed sharing facility of any type.

  4. There are places on the internet that do this with more useful/fun seeds and growing materials.

    Also: Fruit/Vegetable breeding is not GM.

  5. I give this about two years before Monsanto shuts it down, then sues the library into bankruptcy, repossesses the building, bulldozes it, salts the field, and sends some corporate lawyers out to take smelly shits on the property, which, being owned my monsanto, the nearby community members who have to smell it will be legally barred from cleaning up.

  6. This could certainly be a source for some interesting home-brewed crossbreeds.  Go ahead and deposit the seeds of that sweet bell pepper you grew next to the habaneros!    The lulz…oh, the lulz.

  7. Omaha Public Library is “opening” a seed library, as well. So far the idea has been met with tremendous response; we hope it’s as successful once it’s put into action!

    Welcome to the new wave of lending.

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