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What Are Seed Libraries And Why Are They Important? An Explainer

When in doubt, grow local.

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Seed libraries are more or less exactly what they sound like: Collections of local herb, vegetable, flower, and fruit seeds that people can "borrow" and then plant on their own.

They play a big part in educating the public on local agriculture, bringing new plants into circulation, and promoting biodiversity.

Many seeds and crops like wheat and corn are genetically uniform, making them vulnerable to being wiped out by disease or pests. Seed libraries help crops and plants adapt to different climates and ecologies, ensure food security, and provide an alternative to genetically-modified crops.


While some of the libraries let people take seeds for free, others ask that people grow the seeds into full-blown plants, and then bring the seeds from those plants back to the library to continue the cycle of lending and borrowing.