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. 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, Twitter or Facebook. If you have any questions or ideas, please get in touch with our Seed Librarian, Rowan Lear, on glasgowseedlibrary@cca-glasgow.com

Glasgow Seed Library is both a collection of seeds and a community of growers.

Our Vision

Over the next ten years, Glasgow Seed Library aims to:

Offer people in Glasgow free access to organic, open-pollinated seeds;
Grow a library of seeds specially 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 indigenous and marginalised practices, cultures and histories of earth care and resistance, here and around the world;
Support the establishment of a seed library network in Scotland.

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 plant 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.

How can I get involved?

Glasgow Seed library is produced and activated by you. When the library is safely relocated in our building, you may leave seeds and take seeds, at any time while CCA is open.

You can also join free events over the growing season. There are free practical workshops, regular Seedy Socials, online Skills Seminars, as well as talks about seed sharing, food politics and land justice. We encourage all library growers to contribute their knowledge and experiences to this programme. Email glasgowseedlibrary@cca-glasgow.com if you have an idea for an event.

Get the latest news from Glasgow Seed Library by joining the mailing list, Facebook Group or following on Instagram or Twitter.

Who owns the Seed Library?

CCA hosts this library but does not own it. Glasgow Seed Library is currently cared for by CCA 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 involved or join the next steering group meeting, please email glasgowseedlibrary@cca-glasgow.com.

What's currently in the Seed Library?

You will find a wide variety of seeds in the Library. We stock 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 regular basis, as people take and deposit seeds. Here are some seeds that have been in stock recently: Angelica / Allium - Chrispophii / Basil - Lemon Variety / Beetroot - Varieties: Tondo di Chioggia, Detroit 2, Boltardy / Bergamot Wild / Borage - Salad Flower, white, blue / Broccoli - Varieties of: Early Purple Sprouting, Green Heading Galabrese, Quick Heading / Brussel Sprout - Dublin Cropper / Chamomile - Dyers / Chives / Calendula / Cabbage - Varieties of: Gortahork, Red Drum Head / Carrot - Varieties: Autumn King, Manchester Table / Chard - Varieties: Pink Passion, Fordhook Giant / Clover - White / Coriander - Varieties: Cilantro, Leaf Selection, Slobolt / Courgette - Varieties: Gold Rush, Black Beauty / Cucumber - Varieties: Early Fortune, Boothby’s Blond / Dill - Dutch Mammoth / Daisy - Michaelmas / Echinacea / Feverfew / Fennel - Zefafino / French Bean - Abundance Climbing / Kale - Varieties: Portuguese, Red Curley, Sutherland / Leek - Varieties: Carentan, Green Avenie / Lemon Balm / Lettuce - Varieties: Oreilles du Diable, Garnet Oak Leaf / Lovage / Marigold - Varieties: French, Queen Sophia / Mustard / Mallow / Mizuna / Melon - Ogon / Nasturtium / Nigella - Love in a mist / Parsley - Varieties: Moss Curled, Plain leaved, Comun 3, Giant Italian / Parsnip - Bedford Monarch / Pea - Varieties: Fill the bucket, Grijze / Poppy - Varieties: Field, Giant / Peppermint / Quinoa Temuco / Runner Bean - Scarlet / Rocket wild / Rhubarb - Victoria / Onion White lisbon / Sage / Spring onion white lisbon / Squash - Varieties: Rondini, Solor, Green Hokkaido, Orange Hokkaido, Red Hokkaido / Sunflower - Varieties: Red Velvet Queen, China Cat / Strawflower / Snapdragon / Tomato - Varieties: Ailsa Craig, Millefleur Yellow Vine / Wildflowers Scottish Lowland Meadow mix / Yarrow

Where can I find out more?

We recommend these online resources from DIY Seeds, Seed Sovereignty, Seed Alliance, Garden Organic and Real Seeds. We also have plans to create a small reference library beside the Seed Library. This will offer everyone access to information about seed-saving techniques and growing methods for different plants.