Tag Archives: Seed Libraries

Are seed libraries legal in your state?

“Seed libraries, initiatives that allow gardeners to share seeds with others in their community, have steadily gained popularity in the United States, with more than 400 seed libraries currently documented. However, since the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) controversial investigation of the Simpson Seed Library in Mechanicsburg, PA, in June 2014, the legal status of community seed libraries is in question across the country.” (via CSMonitor.com)

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Duluth library’s seed-sharing program deemed unlawful

“Minnesota agriculture officials say a seed-sharing program at the Duluth library is on the wrong side of the law. The seed exchange, one of about 300 such programs in the U.S., allows members to borrow vegetable seeds from the library in the spring and later return seeds they collect from their gardens. Program manager Carla Powers said about 200 members borrowed 800 packets of seeds in the first year of the exchange. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture caught wind of the program and has informed the library it is likely violating state seed law. Anyone who sells, trades or exchanges seeds in Minnesota must follow state rules and proper labeling.” (via TwinCities.com)

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Gardeners on Alert as Pennsylvania Targets Risks of Seed Exchanges

“A crackdown by Pennsylvania regulators on a seed exchange at a small library has put gardeners and advocates of locally grown organic food on alert across the country. In June, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture told a public library in Mechanicsburg, Pa., that it couldn’t distribute homegrown seeds. The agency said a planned seed-exchange program would run afoul of a 2004 state law requiring anyone who distributes seeds to conduct certain quality tests, adhere to labeling and storage rules and acquire a license.” (via WSJ)

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‘Seed libraries’ try to save the world’s plants

“Abasic principle of any library is that you return what you take out. By that standard, the new scheme at Hampshire College’s library is a roll of the dice. Since last November, librarians have been lending out packets of seeds, allowing people to plant them, and checking them back in if—and only if—the borrower manages to grow thriving plants in the meantime. The Hampshire College project is part of a small but growing group of “seed libraries” across the country, local centers that aim to promote heirloom gardening and revive a more grass-roots approach to seed breeding.” (via The Boston Globe)

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