Seed Libraries

San José Public Library - Seed Library
San José Public Library – Seed Library

Read a great article today on seed libraries and why they are so popular at libraries today.  The article is from the great folks at Atlas Obscura.  They also have a book!  The article points out the fact that all our vegetables are coming from factory farms now.  Because of this, there are no local varieties available anymore.  They want to do what they can to help make these rarer varieties more available.

As plant species reproduce, new generations develop unique adaptations to different environmental conditions, resulting in diverse heirloom varieties. But when large companies control most food production and seed distribution, and work to hybridize and streamline agriculture, those regional differences can disappear.

“I don’t see us as competing against large industrial seed producers, we just want to make sure that biodiversity is still available to people,” Hought says. She also notes that, as climate change alters the environment, she hopes access to more varieties of seeds will prepare food growers to cope with extreme conditions.

I’m sharing this for a couple of reasons.  I think it is very sad and in the long term detrimental the human race that we are depending on so few varieties of vegetables.  Those that are chosen by the factory farms because they are the most resistant to disease and easiest to grow on a huge scale.  Also, I share this because there are very few people out there that really understand that libraries are not just about books.  Libraries are changing.  Much more is available there than you think.  ebooks, emagazines, audiobooks (even available on your smartphone), educational resources like Lynda for free.  There is so much more about your local library than books.  Not that books are not amazing after all that is the purpose of this blog!

“[Seeds are] cultural documents of what we have saved and found valuable in terms of taste and community,” Newburn says. “When we take the seeds home and plant them and return them we’re actually adding another chapter.”