What is the Seed Library?
The South Burlington Seed Library is a hub for local seed exchange and garden education. Patrons can “borrow” from our inventory of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds to grow at home. Most seeds currently in stock are generous donations from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and High Mowing Organic Seeds. At the end of the season, gardeners can, but are not required to, 'return' seeds that they saved from the plants they grew. The Seed Library also organizes and promotes educational events and resources relevant to gardening, seed saving, and local food.
In line with the Library’s mission of “strengthening our community through abundant resources,” the Seed Library is committed to manifesting abundance within South Burlington’s gardening community. As a local hub for seed exchange and gardening education, we are investing in hardy sustenance, healthy soil, and happy souls.
How to Borrow Seeds
1. Choose your seeds from the Seed Library card catalogs atop the low shelves of non-fiction on the second floor.
2. Fill out a Membership Form and record the seeds you are checking out.
3. If you would like, you can save your seeds to return to the Library. When returning seeds, fill out the Seed Donation Form.
4. Join our Facebook Group for updates and to connect with other gardeners in the Community.
1. Browse our inventory of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds.
2. Select the seeds you want to grow (no more than you need).
3. Fill out this Seed Request Form.
4. Once you are notified that your seeds are ready, pick them at the curbside cart inside the Library by the Circulation Desk.
5. Grow, eat, smell, and wonder!
Why Grow Food?
Growing our own food helps decrease our dependence on large-scale agriculture and food systems and increase our access to delicious, healthy, and diverse foods (read more here). Most importantly, it feels great to be outside in the garden with the birds and bees and plants and soil and sun. Imagine the magic of eating a vegetable that you grew, after many months, from a tiny seed you “borrowed” from your community here at the Seed Library.
Why Save Seeds?
People have been saving seeds for more than 12,000 years. However, in our culture, much seed-saving knowledge along with significant biodiversity has been lost due to the prevalence of genetically modified varieties of plants (GMO’s) and large-scale agricultural practices such as monoculture. Biodiversity in food and agriculture increases the resilience of human and more-than-human communities by naturally resisting disease and pest issues; maintaining ecosystem health; enabling a nutritionally and medicinally diverse diet; and contributing aesthetic, ritualistic, and intellectual meaning to our cultures. By saving our own seeds, especially open-pollinated and heirloom varieties, and sharing them with our community, we are participating in one of nature’s greatest projects: the preservation and evolution of the cornucopia of lifeforms on Earth. Read more about the importance of seed saving here.
- List of recommended gardening and seed-saving books and websites
- Germination test (for seeds that are 1-2 years old)
- South Burlington Seed Library inventory
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need" - Cicero