How does the Innisfil Seed Library work?
Browse the selection of vegetable, herb and flower seeds, sign some out in our binder and grow them at home to enjoy. The binder has alphabetical dividers – file your form by your last name so you can find it when it comes time to return some seeds. At the end of the growing season, we ask that seed borrowers return some seed to help replenish the stock. It's that easy!
How many seeds can I borrow?
Select a few packets to grow at home. While there is no limit to how many seed packets you can sign out, please only take what you think you can grow this season keeping in mind you'll be expected to return some seeds from what you grow. If you are new to gardening and seed saving, try to borrow seeds marked "easy."
Where do your seeds come from?
Most of our seeds were generously donated by community members from their personal harvests or purchases. We try to offer open-pollinated, untreated seeds; however, we cannot guarantee all donations meet this standard. Please practice organic gardening methods when you borrow our seeds to grow.
How do I find out what seeds are available to borrow?
Simply visit the seed library! The stock is ever-changing and is therefore not catalogued or processed like traditional library materials.
How do I properly save seeds?
Every year check your seeds for viability or high germination rate - click here to find out how. The Innisfil Seed Library also offers workshops and resources on how to save seeds. We encourage you to save and return seeds from categories marked “easy” including lettuce, beans, peas and most flowers. Seeds in this category are easy to harvest and mostly self-pollinating and therefore less likely to cross-pollinate with another plant. Visit the resource section of this website as well as gardening and seed saving books available in the seed library displays.
When do I return seeds?
At the end of the growing season, return some "easy" seeds from what you've grown. Record your returns in the binder using the Seed Returns Form located on the reverse side of your sign-out form. Be sure to clearly label your packets including seed name and variety, and the year and location they were harvested.
Can I donate my own seeds?
Yes! We accept seed donations at any time. Please donate open-pollinated and heirloom varieties when possible thus producing breed-true seeds. Saving hybrid seeds does not guarantee the same results in the next growing season. Be sure to clearly label your packets including seed name and variety, and the year and location they were harvested.
Why save seeds?
People have collected and saved seeds for thousands of years; however, over the last century we've lost a great deal of this knowledge and the biodiversity we once enjoyed. Gardeners and farmers have become reliant on large seed companies for their crops in turn significantly shrinking the diversity of our plants and food. By growing and saving your seeds, you:
- Help cultivate and maintain biodiversity
- Develop locally adapted seed to our environment
- Eat healthy while saving money
- Gain local food security
- Become less dependent on large seed companies
- Learn and share with your community
How can I keep informed about workshops and events?
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and get in touch through the contact form to be added to our email listserve to receive notifications about upcoming happenings. Also visit the Innisfil Seed Library page on the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library website.