We have created this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help answer any common questions you may have for the Toronto Seed Library (TSL). If your question is not answered here, peas email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Q. Whats the difference between an heirloom, an open-pollinated new variety, hybrids and GMOs?
A. –Heirlooms are varieties grown for generations, some are hundreds of years old.
–Open-pollinated new varieties are being continually developed by both seed breeders and natural selection, they are similar to heirlooms just newer!
–Hybrids are developed by professional seed breeders for commercial production, usually seeds from hybrids will not resemble the parent plant — they aren’t good for seed saving but are not GMOs.
–GMOs or GE Crops have had genes from other species inserted to their genetic code in a laboratory. They are usually intellectual property of the companies that changed their genes, it is usually illegal to save seeds from these crops.
Q. Does the TSL carry GMO seeds?
A. The TSL does not carry GMO seeds. We believe that seeds are living beings that can not be patented and belong in the Commons.
Q. What kinds of seeds does the TSL carry?
A. All kinds of seeds, with an emphasis on open pollinated, heirloom and native seed varieties. We carry herbs, fruits and vegetables, native wildflowers, tree seeds. We even carry some Hybrid seeds, donated after their best before dates, not for seed saving but rather to engage new food growers.
Q. How do you ‘borrow’ seeds from the TSL?
A. Take seeds from one of our branches to your home and sow them!
Q. How do you ‘return’ seeds to the TSL?
A. After saving your seed, package and label it — indicating the species, variety, and year.
Q. Do I have to pay anything?
A. There is no cost to participate in the TSL. However we accept cash donations during events, and encourage folks to contribute in whatever ways they can.
Q. Does the TSL sell seeds?
A. We do not sell seeds. All seeds are freely given and shared freely.
Q. How do I save seeds?
A. This is different for each species of plant. We recommend researching your the species you wish to save seeds from in seed saving books and online. The TSL, and other seedy organization, host seed saving workshops throughout the year. See our resources section.