Photo credit: Julia Dakin,

Cool Beans!

Seed Library Newsletter

May 2023 - Issue #33

Last Cool Beans!

Dear Seed Library Community,

It has been a pleasure writing the Cool Beans! Newsletter for the last decade, but I need to step back.

Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library has been hosting the Seed Library Network website, this newsletter, and social media forum, and it's time that we made Seed Library Network its own entity. If you have some energy and passion to bring to this endeavor, please join our group of organizers and visionaries to help create this organization. Hopefully, once that gets established a group of people will be interested in taking over the publication of Cool Beans!

Peas and justice,

Rebecca Newburn

Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library

Be a Seed Library Network Organizer & Visionary!

Featured videos from the

11th Seed Library Summit

Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining"!

ENGLISH: Recording & Presentation 

ESPAÑOL: Grabación, audio y presentación 

In this skillshare, we spoke about mobile seed libraries as more than a response to disasters (from colonialism to coronavirus to hurricanes, but as a means of preserving ancestral traditions, honoring our elders, and engaging in practical decolonization and the very loving rematriation to the land on which we live. This skillshare was co-facilitated by two transfeminist queer seedkeepers (tara + elena) who shared the story of the particular practices they are developing with others in Borikén. 

En este intercambio de saberes se habló sobre las bibliotecas móviles de semillas como más que solamente una respuesta a "desastre"  (desde colonialismo a coronavirus a huracanes), pero como una manera de preservar tradiciones ancestrales, honrando nuestres maestres, involucrándonos en descolonización práctica y la rematriación de la tierra donde vivimos. Este intercambio de saberes fue co-facilitado por dos guardianes de semillas transfeministas (tara + elena) quienes compartieron sus historias de prácticas que han ido desarrollando con otres en Borikén.

Grow a Row

Invite community members to save seeds for your seed library by doing a Grow a Row Project. We have a webpage with a series of videos and resources to support you.

Seed the Future!

Have you benefited from resources at or If you are inspired and have the means, please help us continue to Seed the Future.

Community donations like yours help to pay for this e-newsletter, UpBeet! forum, the website, and our Zoom account so we can offer free classes.

Donations are tax-deductible through Urban Tilth, the fiscal sponsor of Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library.


UpBeet! Forum

Even though Cool Beans! is going fallow for now, you can continue to stay connected to the seed library community by joining UpBeet! Seed Libraries Online Forum. You can ask questions and share inspiration.

One Seed, One Community

Interested in building community? The One Seed, One Community project where everyone grows the same seed and you support them from seed-to-seed is a great way to build community and increase the number of seed savers. Visit our One Seed, One Community project page for recordings of previous classes and a worksheet walking you through. the process as well as a public folder with resources from different projects. Everything is in the public domain.

Guidelines for Maintaining a Seed Library

Have you checked out the Seed Library Network "Guidelines for Maintaining a Library"?

The page has guidelines for maintaining your library and best practices guidelines for seed saving.

Remember to post a sign about seed quality at your library and any web or social media presence. Here is some suggested language:

Hey there! You should know that we share homegrown seed, which may not meet state germination or labeling standards.

At [name of seed library], we try our best to ensure the quality of our seed using best practices in inventory care and labeling. Nonetheless, seeds are alive and people using the seed library have varying degrees of skill in saving seeds. You should know that you might experience low germination rates or receive seeds that were not properly labeled. This is a volunteer-run project, and we do the best we can with the time and resources we have.

If you do have any problems with the seed you get from the seed library, please let us know so we can try to fix it for future users of the library! Email us at [contact info of someone responsible for seed collection].

Thanks for your understanding!

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