The Director of the Abbot Public Library drew our attention to something we would like to
share – “Seed Libraries”. This was the subject of a March 9 article in the Boston Globe titled, “Seed Libraries try to save the world’s plants”. The point of saving seeds is to preserve heritage stock as a means of supporting biodiversity. That job has been given to professionally managed seed banks around the world with more than seven million seed samples already in storage for use one day in research.
What is new is the idea of involving local means of not only saving seeds, but putting them into circulation – hence the circulating library connection – encouraging local varietal protection and perhaps even development of new plant strains. In Massachusetts the idea has been taken up at Hampshire College in Amherst, the Concord Free Public Library, and the Sturgis Library in Barnstable (references available on request). When a “borrowed” seed produces the desired plant, fresh seeds are returned to the supporting library for further circulation.
The idea relates to a talk on plants with known provenance given by Mark Richardson,
Horticultural Director of the New England Wildflower Society, at the Conservancy’s Annual
Meeting in late March of this year.
If the idea of seed libraries interests you, we and the Abbot Library would like to know. Please send us an email through one of the contacts listed at the upper right of our home page.