Newcastle Seed Library

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The Newcastle Seed Library is a new community run initiative of Newcastle Libraries, individual community volunteers and community gardens across the LGA. It is like a regular library, yet for seeds.

The Seed Library is free for library members – they are able to take home some seeds, just as they would borrow a book. After growing in their garden, they are encouraged to harvest and return seeds to the Seed Library for others to borrow.

The Newcastle Seed Library will be accessible from Wallsend Library from Tuesday 6 October 2020. 

Benefits 

The Seed Library benefits individuals and the community. You can obtain free seeds for your garden and help build a collection of seeds for others.

Sharing seeds through the Seed Library will help preserve rare, tasty and historical varieties for gardeners in our community. Through the return of successful seeds, over time a collection adapted to local conditions (climate, pests, soils, etc) can be achieved, strengthening the biodiversity and food security of our local community.

Growing from the Seed Library is a great way to teach children about the life cycle of plants, while learning new seed-saving skills yourself.

 
How do I get involved? 

Borrow and grow, then harvest and share.

Borrow

  • Members of Newcastle Libraries are welcome to access the seed library from Wallsend Library (from Tuesday 6 October 2020) and take home some FREE seeds, just as they would borrow a book.

Grow, then harvest and share

  • After growing in your garden, harvest and return seeds for others to borrow.
  • Seeds available this spring are Basil, Zucchini, Tomato, Bush Bean and Pumpkin

More For Members

  • Seeds are certified organic, non-hybrid and FREE for the community.
  • You can obtain FREE seeds for your garden and help build a collection of seeds for others.
  • Seeds can be used by individuals and the community
  • You can learn new skills with our online video help series: Save the right seeds, Prepare seeds for storage, Monitor seed quality and Grow from seeds. Find these further down this page.

Volunteer

  • Become a volunteer and help support the Seed Library to grow.

Donate

All community members are encouraged to donate seeds for the Newcastle Seed Library. There is no obligation to return seeds, and sometimes growing from seed doesn’t work out, but you are encouraged to have a go at learning seed-saving skills and contributing to the collection by taking an empty packet to fill.

Stay in touch

Follow Newcastle Seed Libraries on Facebook for latest updates including workshops or join the Newcastle Seed Libraries Facebook Group to connect with other seed enthusiasts.

Seed Library catalogue

Autumn/Winter planting:

Radish French Breakfast

Lettuce Pink Frilly

Pak Choi          

Salad Rocket 

Coriander       

Spring/Summer planting:

Tomato Tommy Toe

Bush Bean Provider 

Pumpkin Gramma 

Zucchini Golden

Basil Sweet

Resources to build your seed saving skills

View our video series presented by Lachlan Storrie from Tree Frog Permaculture. All videos are subtitled.

Video 1: Saving the right seeds

– Supporting genetic diversity → Open pollinated, heritage varieties.

– Which plant and fruit should I collect the seed from?

Video 2: Preparing seeds for storage

– Cleaning seeds (winnowing, fermentation, etc)

– How to tell if a seed is worth saving.

– Getting the longest life from your seeds.

Video 3: Monitoring seed quality

– How to tell if a seed is still healthy and viable. (viability testing)

– Maintaining seed-bank stocks, packaging and sharing.

Video 4: Growing from seed

– What seeds like to grow - how, when, and where?

– Depth of planting and special requirements.

Info Sheets

Check out these info sheets about growing from seed: 

Newcastle Seed Library Info Sheet (PDF) Newcastle Seed Library Info Sheet (DOC)

Harvesting 101 (PDF) Harvesting 101 (DOC)

Why open pollinated seeds (PDF) Why open pollinated seeds (DOC)

Recommended Reading

Build your seed saving skills with these books available at Newcastle Libraries:

Adult non-fiction:

Junior