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Request seeds for growing in 2021

Glasgow Seed Library is looking forward to sharing seeds with people throughout the city in 2021. We are considering how best to do this, safely and under the current restrictions. Please check this page over the next month, or sign up for email updates, and we will let you know how to request seeds. Remember, Glasgow Seed Library is a free resource for anyone – we only ask that growers aim to return some seed at the end of the season for the community to grow the following year.

Upcoming events

Our Seeds Are Our Stories
Wed 20 Jan, 7.30pm - 8.30pm, Online via Zoom
Ticketed via Eventbrite, Free - £5 (Sliding scale tickets)
Join a special evening to discuss the current landscape of seed in the UK, hear from people working with seed in diverse ways, and learn how you can get involved in the seed sovereignty movement. Storytellers will include Vivien Sansour, founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, Kimberley Bell, founder of the UK Grain Lab, and others speaking about the journeys they have travelled with their seeds. Organised by the Gaia Foundation's Seed Sovereignty Programme.

What is a Seed Library?

A seed library is a depository of seeds held in trust for the public. Anyone may come to the library and borrow seeds to grow. The idea is to let a number of plants ‘go to seed’ at the end of the growing season. From those plants, you collect the seeds and return the same amount of seed (or more) as you borrowed at the beginning of the growing season. Seeds are free to take, and it is not a requirement to leave seeds, but it is encouraged for the following year. The library is both a collection of seeds and a community of growers. Since seed is a living thing, it must be renewed each year somewhere by someone or unique varieties can become extinct. Even growing one variety and returning one seed to the library is a valuable contribution.

How can I get involved?

The Glasgow Seed library is produced and activated by you. You may leave seeds and take seeds, at any time while the building is open. The library is focused on distributing seeds for food, and on sharing knowledge about how to grow food locally. There are a few rules for the Glasgow Seed Library, but most importantly, the library only hosts seeds that have not been grown with the use of pesticides.

Who owns the seed library?

CCA hosts this library but does not own it. Glasgow Seed Library is currently cared for CCA, Glasgow Community Food Network and a steering group of individuals and community organisations from across the city and beyond. This group includes representatives from Glasgow Community Food Network, Woodlands Community Garden, Propagate, Glasgow Outdoor & Woodland Learning Group (GROWL), North Glasgow Community Food Initiative, Milton Community Garden and Food Hub, Glasgow Allotments Forum and Gaia Foundation's Seed Sovereignty Programme. If you'd like to get in touch with us, please email rowan@cca-glasgow.com.

What happens next?

Throughout the year, the steering group will organise talks and events about seed sharing, food politics and seed autonomy. Library users are encouraged to contribute their knowledge and ideas to this programme. Find out what's coming up by joining our Facebook Group or following Glasgow Seed Library on Twitter. If you'd like to be added to an email list to stay up to date with library activities, please email rowan@cca-glasgow.com. Our next event is Seedy Social with Richie Walsh.

What's currently in stock?

You will find several varieties of seeds in the Library. We focus on heirloom and open-pollinated seeds that are ideal for growing your own food, and encourage growers to choose as many varieties of seeds available in the library, no matter their growing experience. The library's contents change on a daily basis, as people take and deposit seeds. Here are some seeds that have been in stock recently: Grize Roodbloeiende Peas, Kelvedon Wonder Peas, Tender and True Parsnips, Ailsa Craig Tomatoes, Fino Florence Fennel, Scarlet Emperor Runner Beans, Blue Green Winter/Avano Leeks, French Breakfast 2 Radish, Wild Strawberries native to Scotland, Marketmore Cucumber, Natalino Broccoli, Tardivo Forcing Chicory, Squash Zappho, Broad Beans, Squash Solor, Tomato Milliefleur, Tomato Ailsa Craig, Chard golden and pink passion, Chard fordhook giant, early purple sprouting Broccoli, Broccoil – Quick Heading, Calabrese, Parsnip – Bedford Monarch, Cucumber – Early Fortune, Lettuce – Garnet, Lettuce – Oreilles du Diable, Spinach – Bloomsdale, French beans – Abundance, Cabbage – Gortahork, Carrots – Manchester Table Carrot, Carrots – Autumn King, Beetroot – Boltardy, Beetroot – Chiogga, Parsley – flat leaf, Parsley – moss curled, Dill – Dutch Mammoth, Coriander, Spring Onions – white lisbon, Courgette – Black Beauty, Courgette – Gold Rush, Borage, Broad Beans (Field) – wizard, Peas – Golden Sweet, Peas – Fill the Bucket, Brussel Sprouts – Dublin Cropper, Quinoa – Temuco.

Where can I find out more?

We recommend these online resources from Seed Sovereignty, Seed Alliance, Garden Organic and Real Seeds. We are also planning to create a mini reference library beside the seed library, which you can consult for more information about seed-saving techniques and growing methods for different plants.