On a freezing, snow-covered Saturday morning in early January, the Hartland Community Connections breakfast brought Hartland residents together to talk about seeds and the proposed Hartland Seed Library
The goal of the Seed Library, initiated by Hartland Library’s Director, Amy Wisehart, is to support and encourage seed saving efforts in the Hartland community. Vegetable seeds will be available to “check out” for the growing season. The first year will focus on open-pollinated lettuce, beans, peas, and tomatoes, all of which are relatively easy for beginning seed savers. Participants will save seed from some of the crops they grow to return to the library at the end of the season. The Library will offer educational support, including pamphlets, books and workshops, to help beginning seed savers.
There is a growing movement to re-localize and reclaim stewardship of seed production. Seed diversity is being lost as large seed companies have come to increasingly dominate and monopolize the seed market. The practice of seed saving encourages greater self-sufficiency and community resilience, and enables us to adapt to a changing climate and to localize our seeds for best results in our region. Hartland seed-saver Sylvia Davatz says it is empowering and addictive!
Response from breakfast attendees was enthusiastic with lots of questions and suggestions. Many asked for a workshop on building healthy soils. Both Brian Stoffolino (Oak Wood Farm, N. Hartland) and Jaxson Morgan, Hartland Community Connections Director) suggested a harvest potluck for sharing experiences, threshing seeds, and further building this community of seed savers. Sylvia welcomed those who are interested to attend a meeting of the Upper Valley Seed Savers on January 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm. at the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River, VT. She also recommended “Seed to Seed” as a great resource for those interested in saving seeds.
What a wonderful way to build community, increase local resilience . . . and re-use all those outdated library card catalogs!
For info on established seed libraries see:
http://www.concordseedlendinglibrary.org/ (Concord, MA)
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/02/170846948/how-to-save-a-public-library-make-it-a-seed-bank (a Colorado Library)
http://www.richmondgrowsseeds.org/ Richmond, CA
http://www.library.pima.gov/seed-library/ Pima, Arizona