What is a Seed Library?


A SEED LIBRARY is a depository of seeds held in trust for the members of that library. Members come to the library and borrow seed for their garden.  Members grow the plants in their garden and at the end of the season, they let a few plants ‘go to seed.’  From those plants, they collect seeds to return to the Library to replenish its inventory. All  Seeds are free to members.

The library is both a collection of seeds and of community gardeners.  Since seed is a living thing, it must be renewed each year somewhere by someone or unique varietals can become extinct.  Even growing one seed and returning it to the library is a valuable contribution.

To join the Seed Library, please visit our membership page. Lifetime membership is currently $10. If you are able to make this an annual donation please select recurring in your donation tab. If you are unable to return the seed you had checked out please consider a $1 donation to go towards restoring the inventory.

If you would like to find a particular seed, click below to search.  Only during the months of August and February will we offer BOTH Cool & Warm Season Inventory for each Branch.   Venice Branch Inventory or by season: Venice Branch COOL Inventory Oct 2016 and Venice Branch WARM Inventory Aug 2016 or the San Fernando Valley Branch Warm Inventory Aug 2016 and San Fernando Valley Branch COOL Inventory Oct 2016.

5 Great Things About Seed Libraries!

  1. BIODIVERSITY IS AT RISK. A far wider variety of seeds can be kept fresh by many people growing.  We all gain when we combine our efforts. Our seed library is focused on varietals ideal for home gardeners (full flavor and variety in a small garden) rather than commercial varietals, which often sacrifice flavor and personality for the sake of uniformity and durability for shipping.
  2. SAVE MONEY. Participants can save hundreds of dollars each season by growing their own food and saving their own seed.  In Southern California, we are blessed with a climate that allows us to grow food year-round!
  3. FOOD SOVEREIGNTY. A seed library ensures we have a food supply that is reproducible, local, uncontaminated by genetic modification, and free from external controls. Growing our own food and saving our own seed continues the fine American tradition of self-reliance.
  4. NATIVE SEED. Over time the plants will change in response to our local climate and soil, and gradually will become better seeds for our area. As caretakers of seeds, we cooperate with nature in carrying on priceless genetic material for future generations.  Seeds are a sacred trust passed down to us by our ancestors.  The seed library helps us to best honor that gift.
  5. COMMUNITY. We get to hang out with other like-minded gardeners! Gardening nourishes the soul as well as the body. By growing a plant from seed, eating its fruit and returning it back to seed, we become fully engaged in the rhythm of nature, grow more attuned to the world around us, and gain a deeper understanding of our own place in the web of life.