Seed Library

The Prince Albert Seed Library is a collaborative effort between Prince Albert Parkland Permaculture Guild and John M. Cuelenaere Public Library

What is a Seed Library?

A seed library is a library that lends seeds instead of books. The concept is that one would take out seeds in the spring with the intention of saving seeds and returning some of their saved seeds in the fall. Gardeners grow the plants in their garden and at the end of the season, they let a few plants ‘go to seed.’ From those plants, they collect seeds to return to the Library to replenish its inventory.  Seed savers are also encouraged to gift their own varieties to the seed library for other people to try. The seeds that are available will be ones that can be grown locally, and are acclimatized to our local growing conditions

Why save seeds?

  • Seeds that have been grown in Saskatchewan have adapted to our local growing conditions.
  • The fewer varieties of of a particular type of plant (ie. beans) the more susceptible to disease and extinction. The more varieties that there are, the more genetic diversity there will be.
  • Creating an resilient community that can support its own food needs.
  • Preserving interesting kinds of that seed companies are less likely to propagate.

What types of seeds can be shared and saved?

  • Seeds that can be grown locally and true to type.
  • Seeds must be harvest-able and saveable.
  • Seeds need to be completely dry.
  • Seeds can NOT be GMO or hybrid.
  • Seeds can NOT be treated (preservatives/fungicides/pesticides etc).

How to use the library

  • Step 1: Ask a library staff member for the key to the cabinet.
    Step 2: Find the seeds you with to borrow. There is a handy binder on top of the cabinet with the types of seeds in the Seed Library.
    Step 3: Fill out the Sign Out sheet at the front of the binder.
    Step 4: Lock the cabinet up when you are done.
    Step 5: Return the key to a staff member at the front desk.
  • Once you sign out a type of seed in the spring, the idea is to return new seeds from the plants grown from those seeds in the fall.
  • Seed donation – making a write-up of your seed that you are donating with any information and history that you would like to share about your seeds i.e. Vacation seeds, Aunty Netty saved them, nicked them from a neighbors garden, etc. There are paper copies of the form available at the Library, or you can click here: Seed Identification Form to download a digital copy to print off and bring with you when you return or donate seeds.

How to save seeds

  • Except for tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, let seeds dry and mature on plant
  • If they are not mature before a frost, pull plant up including the roots and shelter from frost, forcing the plant to put all of its remaining growing energy into the seed
  • Save from the healthiest, true to type plant
  • Easy to save: beans, peas, dill, cilantro, spinach, basil, arugula