Seed Librarians Are Fighting to Protect the U.S.’s Resilient and Diverse Food System

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

As the industry consolidates, seed libraries are emerging like a parallel universe, offering local varieties for farmers and gardeners to test out, replant, and evaluate for other local users. Many are hosted by public lending libraries — adding a new sort of story to the many already on the shelves. The seeds are often housed in small packets inside old-fashioned card catalogs rescued from storage bins when libraries went digital. These small-scale seed sanctuaries are at the forefront of efforts to sustain and nourish a diverse seed supply. The libraries operate according to basic farmer principles, almost nostalgic by now: Those who test the seeds out in their fields are expected to return the following season with a sampling of the results and notes on their performance that might be helpful to the next user.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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