Have Seed Libraries Gone Mainstream?


| 5/10/2016 2:38:00 PM


Tags: seed libraries, seed saving, Don Abbott, Ohio,

Jacob's Cattle Beans

Saving seeds can be beautiful.

The seed library concept has always intrigued me. A central place to store a community’s seeds makes perfect sense.

Before the invention of overnight world trade and easy transportation, seeds were a local affair. Every season, individual farmers and gardeners saved seeds from their plots out of the necessity of next year. New variety infusions would happen from time to time through trade or barter from neighboring communities.

As people chose the best seeds from their best plants, local varieties (called “landraces”) evolved, giving the community plants adapted to regional conditions like rainfall and soil quality.

These days, local seeds have given way to national (or even international) commercial seed houses. Seeds, which were once scarce and sacred, are now ubiquitous, homogenized, and commonplace. The need for a seed library seems antiquated in our modern age, but within its simple structure is the power of the individual.




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