Source: Local Futures
Because of industrial farming, more than 90% of agricultural biodiversity has been lost in the past century. Storing seed from endangered varieties in seed banks is a way to preserve what remains of that diversity, although farmers’ fields remain the best seed banks of all.
- Find a seed library near you with the following lists and maps, each featuring hundreds of initiatives: Seed Libraries (worldwide), Community Seed Network and SeedLibrarian (mostly North America), and the Community Seed Bank Map (Europe). Elsewhere, contact your local La Via Campesina chapter.
- Read a short and thorough overview of seed banks with Seed Savers’ Exchange’s guide How to Organize a Community Seed Bank.
- Host a seed swap event to gauge interest in a community seed library with Community Seed Network’s guide How to Organize a Seed Swap.
- Set up and run seed libraries, banks, exchanges, and more with the Community Seed Network’s wealth of Organizational Resources, which also features teaching tools and legal resources.
- Set up a seed saving program with the Kastom Gaden Association’s Community Guide to Seed Saving, especially relevant to communities in the Global South.
- Start a seed exchange network with the Seed Savers Network’s Local Seed Network Manual.
- Build a small seed exchange box that can be placed in libraries, community centers, cafés, and stores with Nomoola’s plans for Share Seeds stations.
- Connect with other seed librarians through Seed Libraries’ online community Up Beet!
- Dive deeply into seed saving programs and business opportunities with a training program such as the Seed School of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance in the US and the Community Seed Banks Academy in Europe.
- The Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, in Battir, Palestine, works closely with local farmers to identify local food crops and varieties that are threatened with extinction. Bringing those varieties back to life can inspire both farmers and the larger community to preserve their bioculture and repair their local landscape.
- Vrihi & Basudha, in India, comprises a folk rice bank that has collected, saved, and distributed 940 indigenous varieties of rice, and a conservation research farm that grows out the rice using traditional agroecological methods.
- Seed Libraries’ Getting Started page offers case studies and wisdom from seed libraries across the US.