From The Ground Up: Everything You Need To Know About Seed Libraries

Posted on Thursday, 13 October 2022 under Stories

Join us this November for an in-person and virtual event exploring all things seed libraries!

Over the course of two weeks, from November 17th – 27th, we will host sessions on a variety of topics related to seed libraries. Learn about basic and advanced seed saving, growing and saving regionally adapted seeds, community engagement for seed returns, native plant seeds in your seed library, and streamlining record-keeping processes. When you register, you will receive links to all of the sessions. Please feel free to join us for as many of them as you are able, whether that is just one or all of the sessions!

Everyone is welcome to attend whether you are new to seed saving, a gardener, starting a seed library, or an established seed library, come meet and connect with other community seed groups and seedy folks.

Funding in part for this program was provided by Vancouver Foundation and the BC Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Schedule of Events:

Thursday, November 17th

Vancouver Island In-Person Screening of “The Seeds of Vandana Shiva” – A documentary film

The film starts at 7pm at Cinecenta located at the University of Victoria, Student Union Building, 3800 Finnerty Road. Tickets are available for purchase at the door.

How did the willful daughter of a Himalayan forest conservator become the world’s most powerful opponent of Monsanto? The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, a feature-length documentary, presents the remarkable life story of the Gandhian eco-activist and agro-ecologist, Vandana Shiva and how she’s inspiring an international crusade for change.

Registrants for any part of the Seed Library event get a $7 discounted ticket at the door!

Friday, November 18th

Virtual Screening of “The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

Details coming soon!

Saturday November 19th

9am-10:30am PST – Native Plant Seeds In Your Seed Library with Naomi Higo from Douglas College (Hosted on Zoom)
Your yard, no matter how big or how small can, help restore lost native habitat simply by growing native plants! The Institute of Urban Ecology Seed Library offers people around the lower mainland (Hope-Vancouver) the opportunity to introduce more native plants to their yard by lending out native plant seeds. We have just finished our first complete cycle of seed lending, from harvesting to returning seeds, and we are ready to share our experience with you!

11am-12:30pm PST – How to get seed returns and engage your local community members! A Panel Discussion: Seed Libraries in Public Libraries (Hosted on Zoom)
In this session we will be joined by two panel speakers who have over 10 years of experience as public librarians running seed libraries within their library branch. Learn how they have integrated seed libraries into their public library, how their systems work, and how their processes have adapted over the years. There will be ample time for Q&A in this session so bring all of your questions regarding starting and/or running a seed library.

Sunday, November 20th

9am-10:30am PST – Saving rare seeds and heritage varieties in your seed library (Hosted on Zoom)
Bob Wildfong of Seeds of Diversity will lead us through all the considerations involved in creating and maintaining a seed library of rare varieties. Topics such as seed sources, seed quality assurance, isolation and population sizes are familiar to many seed savers. Bob will review the best practices of these for small-scale seed saving and also delve into the details of keeping a useful seed collection: organizing, labelling, germination testing, and exchanging seeds within and among communities.

11am-12:30pm PST – Creston Seed Bank Project: breeding regionally adapted vegetables and seeds (Hosted on Zoom)
In our new and ever-changing climate, seeds that are adapted to regions and climate are crucial! The Creston Community Seed Bank Society has set out on a multi-year project to shift varieties of seeds in the community seed bank toward those that are heat tolerant. Seeds from these climate-adapted plants will be bulked up and put into long-term storage. The focus of the project’s first year (2022) has been “how to evaluate crops for heat tolerance”. Various measurements and symptoms were analyzed to determine how to best predict heat tolerance in plants. Come along as we explore the results of this season’s observations.

Saturday, November 26th

9am-10:30am PST – Saving Brassica Seed (Hosted on Zoom)
Learn the ins and outs of saving Brassica seeds from FarmFolk CityFolk staff!

11am-12:30pm PST – Saving Biennial Seed (Hosted on Zoom)
Learn more about saving Biennial Seed from FarmFolk CityFolk staff!

Sunday, November 27th

11am PST – In-person Seed Saving 101 workshops
List of locations coming soon.

12pm PST – Q&A with seed saving expert (Hosted on Zoom)
Tune-in with your seed saving questions for our panel of Seed Saving Experts.

If cost is a barrier please email Sara at for a free ticket.