Borrow seeds to grow!
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!
Throughout the growing season, we offer workshops and presentations including proper methods for saving and returning viable seed. Visit the resource section of this website as well as gardening and seed saving books available in the seed library displays.
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 branch 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