Borrow seeds to grow!
Our mission is to distribute seeds widely to the community, including members and non-members of the library of all ages and gardening experience levels, and to educate our residents about how to properly save and return seeds to replenish the seed library year after year. We aim to further engage the community with a variety of complementary workshops and presentations throughout the growing season.
During the growing season, visitors can browse the selection of vegetable, herb and flower seeds, sign some out in our binder and grow them at home to enjoy. At the end of the growing season, we ask that seed borrowers return some seed to help replenish the stock. It's that easy!
We offer workshops including proper methods for saving and returning viable seed. Visit the seed growing and seed saving sections of this website as well as gardening and seed saving books available in the seed library displays.
Annual Innisfil Seedy Saturday
Innisfil Seed Library in partnership with the Innisfil Idealab & Library and the Innisfil Garden Club presents the Annual Innisfil Seedy Saturday, first established in Spring 2017. Each year the event includes seed vendors, garden-related community groups and businesses, a community seed swap, expert talks and demonstrations, children’s crafts and other memorable activities. The Innisfil Seed Library also reopens for the season during the event. Free admission but donations towards the event are always appreciated. We also accept non-perishable food items for the Innisfil Food Bank.
Awards & recognition
Spring 2018 onward: Community Stakeholder, Culture Master Plan, Town of Innisfil
Fall 2018: Healthy Community Award, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority; Ontario Horticultural Association Society President's Award, Innisfil Garden Club
Spring 2018: Community Champion, “Innisfil Library growing its own seed library,” Our Innisfil 2018: Celebrating the Best of Our Community, Innisfil Journal/GoodLife Magazine Simcoe County
In the Press
"Getting ready to grow with the Innisfil Seed Library," Bridget Indelicato, Simcoe.com/Innisfil Journal, April 7, 2019.
"Tips from the Innisfil Seed Library for starting your own home garden," Shane McDonald, Simcoe.com/Innisfil Journal, April 6, 2019.
"Seedy Saturday Takes Root at Innisfil library," Miriam King, BradfordToday.ca, April 1, 2019.
"Innisfil library growing its own seed library," Bryan Myers, Our Innisfil: Innisfil Community Guide 2018 (pg. 20), April 18, 2018.
"Get your garden growing with annual Innisfil Seedy Saturday," Janis Ramsay, Simcoe.com/Innisfil Journal, March 27, 2018.
In March 2016, Innisfil resident Bridget Indelicato approached the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library with a proposal to start a seed library at its Lakeshore Branch. With over 30 seed libraries popping up across Ontario at that time, it was a good moment to bring Innisfil into the fold. Luckily the library had been considering starting a seed library but needed a community member-led volunteer to run the initiative. Here’s Bridget’s story...
When I got the green light to go ahead, I worked towards developing the Innisfil Seed Library with a launch date of May 14, 2016 at the Lakeshore Branch. Starting with my horticultural group connections, gardening friends, my own seed stock and with a few weeks to prepare, I rallied troops to donate seeds and help pack them at several seed packing parties. The response was wonderful and generous and we kicked off our launch with a bang. I can't thank my donors and volunteers enough. With the library as our partner, we were able to get the materials we needed to house the seeds -- envelopes and containers primarily. And of course their incredible support and outreach capabilities helped to get the seed library known and regularly used.
I also develop a roster of workshops throughout the growing season to help empower seed growers and enhance the experience of ‘growing your own.’ Since 2016 we’ve held successful workshops facilitated by me and some gracious guest presenters. Topics have included seed saving and growing (of course!), food security, wild foraging, growing garlic at home, and water conservation. You can also find us at other locations from time to time like the Innisfil Farmers’ Market or the annual Spring Extravaganza in Cookstown.
I continue to run the Innisfil Seed Library and its programs as a dedicated volunteer in partnership with the library because I am passionate about all things seedy and truly enjoy seeing people learn and get as excited as I do about growing seeds. Since spring 2017 we’ve held successful annual Innisfil Seedy Saturday events at the Lakeshore Branch in partnership with the library and the Innisfil Garden Club, and in 2017 we launched a second seed library location at the Cookstown Branch. And each season we have a growing collection of donated seeds and local "returns" from seed harvests. Our group of dedicated, passionate volunteers has also grown and we are indebted to their continued efforts. My ultimate dream is to have a completely locally adapted seed collection in our seed library. Imagine a diverse collection of seeds suited to our local growing conditions? Pretty cool, huh?
- Bridget Indelicato, Innisfil Seed Library Founder & Innisfil Seedy Saturday Organizer