The International Seed Library Forum last week, May 3-6 in Tucson, Arizona was an inspiring mix of panels, conversations, poetry readings, seed sharing, field trips and film. The different panel discussions and talks will soon be available on the Pima County Library's and University of Arizona's Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology's YouTube channels. Here is a short clip called
Digging a Hole Where the Sun Shines In,
by Tucson Johns, that celebrates seed libraries and was fea
tured in Justine Hernandez's presentation "Seed Libraries Come Home to the Old Pueblo." Representatives from 9 countries were in attendance.
Cary Fowler of the Global Crop Diversity Trust did a Q&A after we watched the film
Seeds of Time
. He also spoke at the conference about "From Community Seed Bank Kits to Seed Libraries: A Brief History of American Community Seed Access Movement." Scott Chaskey author of
and Brother Coyote (aka Gary Nabhan) inspired us with a night of readings from their recent books. Gary Nabhan's latest book
Sown by Hand
: Aflorisms, Poems and Prayers for Seeds, was released at the forum and all participants were gifted a copy thanks to the generous support of W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Amy Goldman Fowler.
During the Forum
joint resolution in support of seed libraries
was written that we'll soon make available for folks to sign. Additionally, a group met to start to lay the groundwork for creating an international seed library organization. Here are the
r the initial meeting. If you would like to be involved in the creation of the international organization, please email us a
We also worked on developing guidelines for best practices for seed libraries to follow. Originally this document was called a "protocol"; however, we decided to rename it "guidelines" as we wanted to distinguish that the work we do is community-based and "protocol" seemed more relevant to a company. Please feel free to add comments to these documents in the next two weeks so we can finalize it:
Inventory Guidelines for Seed Library
- this document is about how to manage your collection, increase the quality of seed in your library and signage you may want to post
Seed Saving Best Practice
- this document is from Seed Matters with a few additions; this document would be something you could post in your library or make available to community members.
Special thanks to the organizers and sponsors for making this event possible! Support for the International Seed Library Forum has been generously provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Amy P. Goldman Foundation, and the Arizona Library Association. Other collaborators include Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Edible Baja Arizona magazine, The Friends of Tucson's Birthplace's Mission Gardens, The Loft Cinema, Mercado de San Agustín, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Pima County Public Library, and University of Arizona. Additional co-sponsors include Greenhorns, the National Young Farmers Association, the Seed Library Social Network, Seed Savers Exchange, and the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. Artwork was created by Paul Mirocha Design.