Friday, February 28, 2014

More on seed swaps and seed libraries in Alaska

The seed library craze has finally hit the 49th state! One aim of the JTEL seed library program has been to inspire other, similar programs in Alaska by setting an example. This year seems to be the year that seed swaps and seed libraries are blossoming:
  • with an article in The Ruralite about seed librarians, a University Park Elementary School librarian, Carol Smallwood, has become inspired. U Park has a small school garden that Calypso Farm & Ecology Center helped them set up, so this school is already involved with growing things for educational activities.
  • The Dillingham Public Library recently started a do-it-yourself seed package swap on their bulletin board. A local gardening club has a seedling swap that got going last year and proved very popular, and now is working with the library to coordinate their events.
  • Saskia Esslinger has begun work on a seed library and a seed swap with the Anchorage branch of the Cooperative Extension.
We hope this is just the beginning. Our check-out program just began this year, so with the book and film collection on biodiversity, seed swaps, talks by local experts, workshops, and now the benefit of seeds available (just like books) to our membership, the Growing Ester's Biodiversity program is slowly fulfilling its mission.
If you would like to start a seed library in your area and have questions, or want to volunteer for the JTEL's GEB program, contact Deirdre Helfferich at or 474-6923 (daytime work) or 479-3368 (home) or the JTEL, at 374-8080. 

Thank you!

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