A Brief History

The Toronto Seed Library (TSL for short) was initiated in November 2012, primarily by the Occupy Gardens Toronto collective and students from the University of Toronto and York University. Together a growing cooperative of individuals and organizations, seed savers, gardeners, farmers, educators, librarians, policy makers and food lovers of all varieties are creating a free, self-perpetuating seed library system.

At the seed library people can pick up free seeds, but must try to save some seeds and return them to the library. The saved seeds don’t necessarily have to be the same variety that was check out — and don’t worry there aren’t any late fees for crop failure or accidentally eating all the seeds (a common problem for tomato growers!).

In 2013 we spearheaded the TSL program, establishing 6 branches, attending dozens of events, collecting, processing and sharing thousands of packs of seeds and much more.

In 2014 we have expanded to 14 branches, and counting, and have attended over 50 community events, including ‘literaseed’ workshops inside the Toronto Public Library, a ‘how to start a seed library’ Webinar with the Ontario Library Association, inspired countless seed libraries near and far, while distributing over 50 000 seed packs to thousands of gardeners across Toronto, Canada and even the world, and mulch, mulch more. No big dill*!

Future

Over the fall and winter seasons, we will engage in outreach, events, organizing seedy gatherings and undertaking a process of collective evolution in preparation for an improved seed growing, sharing and saving program for the 2017 season. With your help, we are sure the TSL will continue to grow and propagate itself.

We envision a network of seed libraries across the Seedy of Toronto, inside Toronto Public Libraries, schools, community centres, places of worship, and other public spaces. To this end we are working with diverse organizations across the city creating partnerships and building branches of the seed library.

* In actuality, it was a really big dill, contact us to learn more and bee a part: torontoseedlibrary@gmail.com .