Why a Seed Library?
Seed libraries provide increased opportunity for community resiliency through promoting biodiversity, food access, and a non-monetized, sharing economy accessible to all. Seed libraries store and preserve varieties of seed to ensure the protection of biodiversity and food security. Biodiversity and genetic diversity is very important in food crops because it protects our food supply from epidemics. Both the Irish potato famine and US corn blight epidemic are examples of epidemics caused by a lack of diversity in crops.
The Easthampton Seed Library is open to the public and encourages the frequent use and exchange of seeds. Feasthampton is committed to offering free, public access to seed saving and gardening workshops and an ongoing supply of locally adapted, organic, open-pollinated seeds through the Easthampton Seed Library.
How Does it Work?
Seeds are categorized by two different classifications first by family type and then by level of ease in saving true to type seeds. The families included in the seed library are:
- The Lily Family/Amarylidaceae (Liliaceae) which includes chives, garlic, leek, and onion
- The Mustard Family/Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) which includes broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, and turnip
- The Goosefoot Family/Chenopodiaceae which includes beet, chard, lamb’s quarters, orach, quinoa, and spinach
- The Sunflower Family/Compositae (Asteraceae) which includes artichoke, cardoon, endive, Jerusalem artichoke, lettuce, salsify, and sunflower
- The Gourd Family/Cuburbitaceae which includes chayote, cucumber, gourds, luffa, melon, pumpkin, and squash
- The Grass Family/Graminae (Poaceae) which includes broom corn, corn, and grains
- The Mint Family/Labiateae (Lamiaceae) which includes basil and mints
Members are encouraged to borrow any seeds from the library they wish, but unless they have attended an appropriate level seed saving workshop hosted by Feasthampton, they should only return the seeds saved in the Super Easy category. The seed categories are as follow:
Super Easy: These seeds tend to self-pollinate so you do not have to worry about cross-pollination from your garden or other gardens. They will grow to true to type.
Easy: These seeds may rely on insects for pollination and they may cross-pollinate, so additional work may be required to ensure pure seeds.
Difficult: These seeds may cross-pollinate easily. Special care is required to ensure pure seed such as hand-pollinating or caging.
Membership is open and free to the public. Borrowers should always be members, but the library operates on the trust system. Borrowers can register to become members by completing the membership form.
Seed Harvesting Supplies Available for Checkout:
In addition to the seeds available to borrow from the seed library, the Emily Williston Memorial Library also has seed harvesting supplies to assist in harvesting your seeds. These items check out for 3 days with one renewal. The items are housed in the library’s Youth Department, please call 413-529-1605 to check on the availability of these items.
You must have a C/W Mars library card to check out these seed harvesting materials.
5 Large Seed Blossom Bags (one checkout per person): Each bag measures 38 x 17 ¾.: Check availability
1 Small seed screen: The screen measures 12 in. x 12 in. x 2 in. The screen opening on the small screen is 1/16 in. Check availability
1 Medium seed screen: The screen measures 12 in. x 12 in. x 2 in. The screen opening on the small screen is 1/8 in. Check availability
1 Large seed screen: The screen measures 12 in. x 12 in. x 2 in. The screen opening on the small screen is 1/4 in. Check availability