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West Coast Seed Libraries

Articles: West Coast Seed Libraries
Scarlet runner beans. Photo: Lorene Edwards Forkner
Scarlet runner beans. Photo: Lorene Edwards Forkner

As Pacific Horticulture contributor Jennifer Jewell wrote in Seeds, her recent article that appeared in our winter 2017 issue, “Seeds are critically important to all of life—for the future health and diversity of the world’s plants, and as an important food source for wildlife and humans.”

There is generosity and abundance in every seed; plant a single seed and reap in numbers. But the price of continued viability is planting—and participation. Today, thanks to the efforts of generous gardeners and their communities, a growing network of seed libraries are springing up everywhere. Like their paper/digital analogs, seed libraries are created for the purpose of freely sharing information; only in this case visitors check out seeds. Often seed varieties offered by your local seed library are already tried and tested seasonal favorites, regionally adapted, and worth of being passed along.

Essentially, seed libraries offer seed for free food and flowers in exchange for a reciprocal harvest and your stewardship efforts. West Coast gardeners can choose from those resources listed below or visit the seed library social network for information about how to:

  • Find a local seed library
  • Start a seed library in your community
  • Exchange ideas and navigate hurdles with other seed savers and seed libraries
  • Connect with additional regional and national resources to support your efforts

“By saving and sharing seeds we participate in an ancient human activity while working towards a future of food sovereignty.” –Hypha Seed Library


Bay Area Seed Interchange Library (BASIL)
Berkeley—several locations

Chico Seed Lending Library

Community Seed Exchange

Mother Lode Seed Library

Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library

Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA)
Los Angeles

Seedfolks Community Seed Libraries

Paeonia brownii is native to the western United States. Photo: Jennifer Jewell
Paeonia brownii is native to the western United States. Photo: Jennifer Jewell



Evans Valley Community Seed Library
on Facebook @EvansValleyCommunitySeedLibrary

Northeast Portland Tool Library
(offers tools and seeds)

Student Sustainability Center
Free seeds for the Portland State University community


Hypha Seed Library

King County Seed Lending Library
Seattle—several locations

Lopez Community Land Trust
Lopez Island

Olympia Seed Exchange


The Seed Book cover

New to seed saving or looking to hone your seed-saving skills? Check out The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving, from Seed Savers Exchange, edited by Lee Buttala and Shanyn Siegel. Home gardeners and seasoned horticulturists alike will treasure this beautifully illustrated and comprehensive resource. Read Pacific Horticulture’s review of this rich resource here.





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