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Life, Liberty, and Seed Libraries

Terra Brockman's picture

In this season of abundance, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate the fact that just about every vegetable you eat, not to mention grains, started with a seed -- a miracle of life inside a hard overcoat. 

Seed, like life itself, is better when shared.  Yet, over the past week, the season of abundance and the culture of community ran up against the culture of bureaucracy, control, and fear as the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture shut down the seed bank in the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

A seed library is exactly what it sounds like.  Based on the model of a book library, and often housed in public libraries, people can peruse many varieties of tomato, cucumber, green bean, and other seeds, and then “check out” seeds they want to grow. At the end of the growing season, the person saves some seed, and returns it to the seed library. As more and more people have begun growing some of their own food, “seed libraries” have sprung up all over the U.S., with about 300 currently operating.

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