Squamish Seed Library and Seedy Sunday
About the Squamish Seed Library
The Seed Library launched March 12, 2017. We have a collection of donated vegetable, flower, and herb seeds for community members to take. Users will be asked to pay a nominal membership fee ($5) to use the library. You don’t need to return seeds in order to take seeds, but we hope that you grow the seeds you take from the library, let those plants go to seed, and return some seeds to the library for others to plant next year.
Thank you to our initial seed donors:
Salt Spring Seeds
West Coast Seeds
Victoria Seed Library
Why have a Seed Library?
It enables us to collectively adapt seeds to our Squamish climate, so we will have homegrown varieties that grow well where we live. In the event that our global climate changes substantially, we hope that different communities can swap seeds that are adapted to growing well in different climates. Diversity means resilience!
Currently, large seeds producers often only sell seeds from one grower that are adapted to one area. Read more here. Seed saving is economical, fun, and empowering!
At the same time, we hope to foster a community of seed savers and growers, share knowledge, and have fun doing it!
History of the Squamish CAN Seed Library
In the summer of 2016, a group of enthusiastic community members have come together to increase Squamish’s seed sovereignty in two ways: start a Seed Library in Squamish, and host a Seedy Sunday. The first Seedy Sunday was a resounding success, and the Seed Library continues to take new memberships at the Squamish Public Library.
Bringing a Seed Library to Squamish: Linda, Michi and Daniel.
Seed Library Coordinator
How does the Seed Library work?
Where is the Seed Library located?
The Seed Library is hosted at the Squamish Public Library, just to the right of the entrance.
How do I use the Seed Library?
For an annual fee of $5, anyone can become a member. A membership to the Seed Library grants you unlimited access to any of the seeds we have available. We ask that you only take 2-3 seeds for every plant you intend to grow this season.
Example: if you would like to grow 3 tomato plants this year, take 6 to 9 seeds. For super small seeds, take a pinch. Some seeds have been repackaged for you already into smaller baggies or envelopes. Have a look inside the envelope.
We provide envelopes for you to take your seeds home. Label your envelope with as much info as you can about the seed: the seed company or who grew them, year, variety, Latin name, days to maturity, any growing notes, etc., so that if you bring seeds back, you can pass on that info to the next grower.
How is the library organized?
The library is organized by plant family. For example, if you are looking for scarlet runner beans, you would look in the Leguminosae/Fabaceae Family (Bean) box.
The “Super Easy”, “Easy”, and “Difficult” labels on each family indicate how easy it is to get true seed from the plants, not how easy the plant is to grow. Getting true seed means that the parent plant has not crossed with another variety, and the offspring plants will grow into the same plant as the parent. More info on that below.
How do I return seeds I’ve grown?
First, ensure your seeds are “true” and have not crossed with another variety of plant in the same species (e.g. beets and chard are the same species, Beta vulgaris, so will cross if they are flowering at the same time within approx 3 kilometres.)
Start with the Super Easy seeds if you are new to seed saving. These varieties are very unlikely to cross with others. The super-easy seeds include beans, peas, lettuce, and tomatoes. Different varieties of these plants can be grown close together without worrying much about crossing (it’s a good idea to separate different lettuce varieties by 25 ft, and different pea varieties by 50 ft).
Remember to include as much information as possible on your seed return package:
Year, variety, days to maturity, location, grower's name, etc are all important information for future growers of these seeds. Place your returned seed package in the ''Returning Seeds Box'' to help our seed library manager to keep track of the seed stock.
For more info on saving seeds, see the resources below.
How can I learn more?
Keep an eye out for seed-saving workshops, especially in the late summer. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter for updates. Additionally, see the educational materials below to learn more about seed saving.
Join the Seed Library: Become a Seed Library Member ($5 /year)
Fill out our Seed Library Membership Form HERE
Once submitted, please pay your $5 annual membership fee, and mention "Seed Library" in the memo:
Renew your annual Seed Library Membership:
If you are already a member of the Seed Library, please renew your annual Seed Library Membership by submitting your $5 annual membership fee, and include your name and "Seed Library 2021" in the memo.
If you have any questions, please email our Seed Library Coordinator at email@example.com.
Sea to Sky Planting Guide: Download HERE
Climate conditions vary throughout the Sea to Sky. Use this guide as a baseline to get you started in the garden, and customize with your own observations.
Brought to you by the Squamish Food Policy Council (an arm of Squamish CAN) as part of the Squamish Valley Agriculture Plan implementation.
Thank you to our funders: District of Squamish & Squamish Lillooet Regional District
More Resources & Information for Seeds
Seeds of Diversity Canada
(National Seed Bank, Annual Member Seed Exchange of many uncommon varieties, Community Grow Out Project, Canadian Seed Companies Directory & Seed Saving Resources):
(BC Food System, Citizen Seed Trial, Seed Security & BC Seed Companies Directory):
Salt Spring Seeds
(Seed Saving Information & Regional Seed Company):
BC Eco Seed Coop
(Producers Cooperative of 20+ farmers providing BC grown, certified organic & ecological seeds grown on their farms across BC)
The Community Seed Network
(Canada & USA Seed Savers Exchange Platform):
The Bauta Family Seed Initiative on Canadian Seed Security
(Creates & Supports Canadian Seed Systems that Promote Food Security & are Resilient in the face of Climate Change)
Squamish Public Library Book and Resource List: Growing and Raising your own Food:
And for the little Gardeners: Gardening Books for Children:
Generously provided by Seeds of Diversity Canada
1. Seed Saving Basics (Dan Rubin)
2. Seed Starting (Dan Rubin)
3. Food Systems and Climate Change (Amanda Smith)
4.Growing School Gardens (Allison Eady)
5.Germination Testing (Kim Delaney)
6.Reclaiming Biodiversity for Pollinator Protection (Michele Smith)
7.Intermediate to Advanced Seed Saving (Bob Wildfong)
8.Heritage Flower Gardens c.1900-1920 (Bob Wildfong)
9.How to Keep Your Local Seed Collection Sustainable (Bob Wildfong)
Other videos shared by FarmFolk CityFolk from the 2021 Virtual Seedy Saturday Conference
1.Welcome & Land Acknowledgement: Address from Minister Popham
2.Dr. Vandana Shiva's keynote Speech: Virtual Seedy Saturday Conference
3.Be your own grocer course
4.Connie Kuramoto's Miracle of Seeds
Click HERE to view and/ or download PDF