Sowing Seed Libraries Into Our Community Fabric

We’ve all seen the role that gardens have played over these past two seasons–lifting us up in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty of a global pandemic, a changing climate, and a time of great social upheaval. And central to that story is the seed. Seeds–these tiny kernels of life–bring forth abundance in a time of scarcity, hope in a time of great shifting, and the preservation of culture and community in a time of social fracturing. 

Here in Vermont, and in communities across the world, there is an active movement to bring attention and open up access to seeds, particularly those with cultural significance–through saving and swapping. One way to sow the saving and swapping of seeds into our community fabric is through the establishment of seed libraries. 

Seed libraries are most often found within public libraries, but also occur in community centers, schools, even as stand-alone “tiny free seed libraries” on street corners and in community gardens (“tiny free library” style). Every seed library operates a little differently, but the basic idea is that seed varieties are catalogued on-site for community members to “check-out” and bring home for free or for a nominal fee. Most traditionally, the seed “catalogue” is stocked with a combination of donated seeds from seed companies and contributions from community members who practice seed saving. Additionally, many seed libraries have an educational component–workshops and other resources on seed saving, growing, and even starting a garden.

And the exciting news is that seed libraries are popping up everywhere! Our best estimate is that there are at least 19 locations around Vermont, with many more opening their doors each season. Below is the list we have currently, but we assume we’re just scratching the surface. If you don’t see your seed library on this list, please go to the Seed Libraries website and fill out a quick survey to get on the Sister Seed Library map.

If you want to start a seed library in your own community, this website is an amazing resource– Also, consider reaching out to your fellow Sister Seed Libraries–we have so much to learn from each other!

For more on the story of seeds, see this past Toolshed Tip

Vermont Seed Libraries

Seed Library Location Town/City Website / Social Media
Barton Public Library Barton;
Bennington College Bennington
Brandon Free Public Library Brandon
Charlotte Library Charlotte
Chittenden Public Library Chittenden
Hartland Public Library Hartland
Huntington Public Library Huntington
Jericho Town Library Jericho
Shelburne Memorial Library Killington
Montpelier High School Montpelier
Rutland Free Library Rutland
Salisbury Free Public Library Salisbury
South Burlington Library South Burlington
Springfield Town Library Springfield
Stamford Town Hall Lobby Stamford
Latham Library Thetford
Warren Public Library Warren
Windsor Public Library Windsor


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