Seed Librarians Newsletter
Cool Beans! Seed News
October 2014 - Issue #2
Seed Libraries Summit Update
Here are the minutes for the Seed Libraries Summit that happened Sept. 10 in Santa Rosa, Calif. If there are any corrections or additions to the minutes, please email them to [email protected].
Seed Libraries Summit, Santa Rosa, Calif. - Photo Credit Keith Wyner

Seed Libraries ALERT! Update
In September, the Duluth Seed Library, Duluth, Minnesota, had a surprise visit from an official from their state department of agriculture (DOA). The following week they had a meeting and the result was this Minnesota Seed Exchange and Seed Library Guidance. In Minnesota, a seed distributor includes giving away seeds. At this point, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Minnesota have created documents that prohibit or put unreasonable barriers on sharing local seed through a seed library.

If you get a visit or letter from a state department of agriculture official or other seed regulator, please email us at [email protected].

If you receive Cool Beans! Newsletter, you will get updates about seed libraries and actions we can take to protect local seed and seed libraries. You can also encourage others to sign up for our Seed Libraries ALERT.
Proposed Seed Library Study

Input into Research on Seed Libraries Requested
Greetings seed savers! Colleagues at the University of Georgia and I are in the process of writing a research proposal, to the National Science Foundation, about peer-to-peer seed exchange and seed saving in the United States. If our proposal passes the review, we hope the project will generate useful data to inform us about national trends and local narratives involved in the rejuvenation of seed saving and seed sharing in the United States. As we write the proposal we thought it would be useful to hear from people that are actively involved in seed libraries in order to form research questions and study outcomes that will be useful to the public. Thus, we have created a short questionnaire as a forum for you to voice your opinion about important issues, questions, and research needs. Any input you are willing to share would be very helpful and appreciated!  My past research has involved informal seed systems in rural Kenya where I have spent the last two years. I currently live in Ohio and help with my family's certified organic vegetable farm. The overwhelming interest and demand for local produce, particularly heirloom vegetable varieties, has been overwhelming exciting. - Megan Mucioki
Community Seed Resource Program 
Decorah, Iowa - In partnership with Seed Matters, an initiative of the Clif Bar Family Foundation, Seed Savers Exchange is pleased to announce the launch of the Community Seed Resource Program (CSRP) in June, 2014. The two goals of CSRP are: 1) to provide educational resources and support for community seed projects and 2) to promote the exchange of seed, knowledge and skills.

Saving and exchanging vegetable seeds is the best way to discover new food varieties, preserve heirlooms, and breed locally adapted crops built to withstand the vagaries of climate change. In addition, seed saving opens up a world of possibility for reinvigorating cultural relationships to food and food histories.

The CSRP is intended to assist community seed projects - seed libraries, seed exchanges, seed banks and numerous other community-focused outreach and education organizations - in spreading awareness about the importance and value of seeds. Qualifying applicants receive a one-year Seed Savers Exchange Membership; a toolkit containing hand-crafted seed screens, seed saving supplies and a seed saving manual; seed donations; and access to the Seed Savers Exchange mentorship community.

The CSRP is housed on the new online Seed Exchange, an interactive home for the national seed swap where over 600 Seed Savers Exchange members participate by sharing open pollinated seeds that are rarely sourced elsewhere. Additional features of the CSRP website include a seed events listing page, membership map that showcases CSRP applicants, and free downloadable seed saving resources.

To learn more about the Community Seed Resource Program, please visit us at

Located six miles north of Decorah, Iowa, Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit membership organization
dedicated to the preservation and distribution of heirloom seeds. Seed Savers maintains a collection of thousands of open pollinated varieties, making it one of the largest non-governmental seed banks in the United States. For more information, go to
Cool Beans! Newsletter Articles
If you'd like to contribute to Cool Beans! send us your article to [email protected]. We're also accepting images of cool beans you've saved and stories about awesome seeds you have in your collection that have a Face, Place, Story.

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Quick Links
Seed School
An awesome event that you won't want to miss out on!   Buhl, Idaho Nov. 2-7
Boise, Idaho Sept. 27
Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance
The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance is a newly formed organization supporting seed preservation and diversity in the Rocky Mountain West. To learn more  click here.
Sunset Runner Beans Image courtesy of
Anders Vidstrand, BASIL, Berkeley, Calif.