Post contributed by Patricia Hartman, Reference & Instruction Librarian at RBD Library, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seed libraries are sprouting up across the country and Auburn University is no exception. With the help of some fantastic student volunteers and the Academic Sustainability Program, AU Seed Library is up and running with a variety of seeds for fall planting. Collards, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard & turnip greens, radishes – we’ve got ‘em!
The second such library in the state of Alabama, AU Seed Library is a collection of vegetable, herb, flower, and shrub seeds. It operates on the same basic premise as a book library. You can check out seeds, grow them, and then bring back seeds from your plants.
The Seed Library’s main purposes are to preserve local biodiversity in our food crops and ecosystems and to build a community of seed sharers. Our long-term goal is to build a collection of locally adapted heirloom vegetable and native plant seeds. Still in the fledgling stage, we currently have and accept all kinds of seeds in our inventory.
Not only is the Seed Library a way to procure seeds for your garden, it’s also a fun way to learn about seed saving and why genetic diversity of our crops and native plants is important. We support gardeners of all levels and want to help users learn how to successfully grow plants and harvest their seeds.
We have some interesting and educational activities planned for the next few months, including a seed collecting trip to Davis Arboretum in September. If you have an idea for an event or would like to teach a class, please let me know!
Does it sound too good to be true? It isn’t! Membership is free and open to the public so let your gardening friends know! There is no obligation to return or donate seeds. That said, contributions are certainly appreciated! The success of the Seed Library depends on the support of its members to sustain the collection and we really are just getting started.
Come visit us on the first floor of RBD Library and check out the AU Seed Library website. We’re on Facebook too so “like” us to stay up to date on our seed collection and upcoming events!