Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 11am-12midnight, Sun-Mon: Closed /// PLEASE NOTE: Our main lift is currently broken, please ask a member of staff for access to the secondary lift.

Glasgow Seed Library

Inside the Glasgow Seed Library cabinet.

Welcome to Glasgow Seed Library!

Glasgow Seed Library is a collection of seeds and a community of growers. The library stocks organic and open-pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds for everyone to borrow, grow and save. By learning to save and share seed locally, we can nurture unique varieties and adapt our plants to a changing Scottish climate.

You can find our blue cabinet of seeds in the CCA foyer. Feel free to browse, borrow and deposit seeds when visiting. Please record the seeds you have borrowed or returned, using the log book.

If you are saving seed this year and plan to return some to Glasgow Seed Library, please complete this seed deposit form. This will help us understand more about your seed’s journey and what people who wish to grow it next year can expect from it. There are hard copies of the seed deposit form in the Seed Library at the CCA.

We have developed a new catalogue system to help make our seed collection accessible to a range of growers; especially those who are new to growing and/or have limited space. We have also highlighted seeds which are rare or were grown locally in hope they fall into the hands of growers who wish to continue to adapt seed to our Glaswegian climate!

For more information on how to access the seed library, download our Easy Read Instructions. 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.

Throughout the year, we run free workshops, talks and events around seed saving, community growing, food sovereignty and earth care. You can sign up for email updates or follow the seed library on Instagram. If you have any questions or ideas, please get in touch with our Seed Librarian, Rowan Lear, on glasgowseedlibrary@cca-glasgow.com

Our Vision

Glasgow Seed Library aims to:

  • Offer people in Glasgow free access to organic, open-pollinated seeds

  • Grow a library of diverse seeds adapted and resilient to the Glasgow climate

  • Develop seed saving skills, knowledge and resources in the city

  • Cultivate seed stewardship to build climate, food and community resilience

  • Connect seed saving in Glasgow to marginalised practices, cultures and histories of earth care and land resistance, here and around the world

  • Contribute to international, local and Scotland-wide seed networks

What is a Seed Library?

A seed library is a depository of seeds held in trust for the public. You can take seeds, grow them, and let the 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. Most importantly, the library only hosts seeds that have been grown organically, without the use of pesticides or artificial fertilisers.

Our library is currently focussed on vegetables, edible flowers and herbs with medicinal and culinary uses. We stock the seeds of plants that do well in our Glasgow climate, some heritage varieties bred especially for Scotland, and some varieties that have been brought here by people over centuries of migration and mingling. We’re keen to increase the range of seeds in stock - please email glasgowseedlibrary@cca-glasgow.com if you have a suggestion!

Anyone may come to the library and borrow seeds to grow. It is not a requirement to deposit seeds, but the more seeds we can save, the more sustainable the library will be. As seed is a living thing, it must be renewed each year or unique varieties can become extinct. Even growing one variety and returning one seed to the library is a valuable contribution.

Beginners seed packs

Each spring we give away Seed Starter Packs for people who would like to give seed-saving a go for the first time. These starter packs contain two varieties of vegetables that are super easy to save seed from including:

  • Lettuce

  • Tomatoes

  • Peas

  • French beans

These species are easy to save from because they are self-pollinating. As such there will be no chance of cross pollination between, say, the peas that you are saving for seed, and those of your next door neighbour, and your seeds will breed “true to type”.

We have different starter packs to suit your growing context. Whether you have a small space outdoors, a larger space or even just a sunny windowsill, we have seeds that will thrive in your environment.

Come to our annual spring seedy social to pick up your seed starter pack!

Seed Librarian assistance, visits & tours

If you are a gardening group needing assistance with growing a seed crop for the first time, reach out to us and a Seed Librarian may be able to visit you.

We welcome community groups to make a guided visit to the Seed library at the CCA. Likewise, if your community is new to the world of seed-saving and would like to learn more, a Seed Librarian can visit your community group and give a presentation.

Please get in touch with: hamshya@cca-glasgow.com.

Projects 2024

Tending To Workshops

Tending to… is an ongoing series of workshops, designed to build people’s skills and confidence in growing from seed, and offer cheap and accessible ways to care for seed crops in urban spaces. Organised by Glasgow Seed Library and hosted by community gardens around the city.

Living Soil Lab

The Living Soil Lab is a small study group that meets on a monthly basis to explore key aspects of soil ecology through focused research and practical activities.

Planted in this land

A new land justice study group with Glasgow Seed Library exploring past and present struggles for land, food, farming, foraging, roaming and belonging.

Botanic Movement Ecologies

A project documenting the biodiverse and unique flower rich grassland ecologies of urban brownfield sites in Glasgow. By collecting and sowing these wild seeds, we will become part of the movement ecology of Glasgow, mimicking the free wind and the creatures who carry seed and no longer survive due to urbanisation.

Glasgow Seed Circle

A collaborative project bringing together community gardeners from across the city to help develop a seed keeping collective in Glasgow.

Researchers in Residence

Each year Glasgow Seed Library hosts a researcher in residence. Tilly Nevin is our 2024 researcher in residence. Tilly’s project is about how dehumanising language is applied to both human and plant migrations. This spring she will facilitate workshops with different writers whose work touches on these topics. Inspired by thinking about the life cycle of seeds, grief and growth, and the movement of seeds, plants and people, as well as the ways in which we can rethink ideas of belonging and borders, people will be encouraged to produce creative pieces.

Previous researchers in residence have included Desiree Coral in 2022 and Sandy Sigala in 2023.

Desiree Coral is an Ecuadorian born artist. She explores and exampines early global seeds from the Americas to the rest of the world and vice versa. Desiree explored colonial seeds throughout her residence at Glasgow Seed Library in 2022, and organised various engagement activities including an exhibition entitled Eating the Ancestors.

Sandy Sigala is a research-led artist. Sandy explored the ambiguous character of ‘wasted’ post-industrial landscapes as sites of resistance throughout her residency at Glasgow Seed Library. She researched the slow process of phytoremediation, where certain plants can break down harmful chemicals from contaminated land.

GSL Resources

Browse our archive of workshop resources covering soil health, seedling care, seed saving and seed breeding. Join our Seed-Lings Whatsapp group for new and learner seed savers. We use this whatsapp to share experiences, stories and support with raising and harvesting seed crops.

Learning resources from our study groups

Living Soil Lab

The Living Soil Lab resource archive is updated regularly with learning materials around specific topics related to soil health which have formed the focus of monthly Living Soil Lab meet-ups. These resources are ideal for anyone who wants to learn about soil ecology, but can’t make it to the sessions, or who would like to set up their own living soil lab!Reading List, Planted in this Land

The land justice study group resource archive is regularly updated with resources exploring past and present struggles for land, food, farming, foraging, roaming and belonging.

Reading List Planted in this Land

The land justice study group resource archive is regularly updated with resources exploring past and present struggles for land, food, farming, foraging, roaming and belonging. View and contribute to a shared reading list.

Other resources that we love!