Library Hosts Seed-Saving Class, Urban-Gardening Film


Several months after opening a seed and gardening-tool lending library, the Alameda Free Library is holding a class that will focus on seed saving. The event takes place at 2 p.m. today, Saturday, August 6, at the library, 1550 Oak Street.

Rebecca Newburn of Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library will speak about seed-saving basics, and her presentation will include some hands-on practice. She will also explain the basic vocabulary of seed saving and how to save seeds from peas, sunflower and other night-shade plants.

Newburn will also help residents understand how they can return “borrowed” seeds to the library as part of a movement toward sustainable communities. The event is free.

The Alameda Free Library’s seed- and tool-lending library is directed by Joel Butler, a reference librarian at the Main Library. He helped open the seed-lending library on March 1 (see photo above) and the garden tool-lending library at the end of April, which includes about 45 high-quality tools, he says.

“You can take three or four seeds per plant,” explained Butler to the group. “I understand that sunflowers are easy to grow.”

While the seed library has decorative-plant seeds, the project’s emphasis is on edibles, Butler says. It is located behind the reference desk on the second floor of the Main Library.

Butler is encouraging residents to use seeds from library for planting and then bring some seeds that they have produced in their gardens back to the library be shared with others. “When they do this, they are bringing back seeds that are better adapted to our local climate and that will be more robust the next time they grow,” he shared.

At 1:30 p.m. tomorrow (Sunday, August 7), Alameda Backyard Growers will present the film “Urban Roots” at the Main Library. The local group says the film is about urban farming in Detroit. Doors open at 1 p.m., and the event is free.

Another local event, hosted by Ploughshares Nursery, will focus on composting with worms at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 13, at 2701 Main Street, Alameda Point.