"I will argue that every scrap of biological diversity is priceless, to be learned and cherished, and never to be surrendered without a struggle."
A community seed bank, sometimes known as a seed library, is geared toward protecting biodiversity, is a way for people to save seed, and share locally-adapted seed. Unlike the massive seed banks which keep seed in cold temperatures for decades, a community seed bank is all about saving and using the seed in the next growing season – a renewing cycle each season.
We strongly believe that in a world where our food security is threatened, every single person should have access to seed. This can allow us to collectively plan as communities how we adapt to a changing planet.
If you have seed from a variety of flower or vegetable that you have grown for years or that has been passed down to you, or if you know of local varieties that you would like to see preserved then please do get in contact.
So far in 2022, members of the group have attended the Farnham Sustainability Fair and the Godalming Green Gala with a stall displaying examples of seeds that can be easily saved and educating people on how to get involved in seed saving.
The seed bank and seed library aims can be summarised in five points:
2022 was a challenging growing year with extremes of temperature and very little rain during spring and summer, but we have still managed to collect decent amounts of seed to distribute at the upcoming seed swap. A selection of herbs and vegetables which will be on offer are below:
We'll be updating this website over the coming weeks and months with links to resources and details of what plants have been grown successfully for seed in 2022 and 2023 and under what growing conditions, to provide a useful guide to local gardeners.
14 August 2023 - Godalming Green Gala, Bury's Field
1 October 2022, 10:00-14:00 Hart Shopping Centre, Fleet
We'll be there with a stall as part of the Great Big Green Week organised by Hart District Council
16 October 2022, 11:00-13:00, The Spike Community Centre, Warren Road, Guildford GU1 3JH
We are hosting a ‘hands-on’ seed saving course with expert Peter Brinch of the Open-Pollinated Seeds Initiative at The Spike Community Centre, Guildford. Join us for a fun morning of learning how to save seeds for key vegetable crops, covering details such as pollination, isolation, number of plants required, seed harvesting, extraction and storage.
The community seed swap in February 2022 formed part of our launch day for the Guildford Seed Bank, a seed sovereignty initiative aimed at giving the community a thriving, sustainable source of seeds that are adapted to local growing conditions. We are very greatful to the suppliers who have kindly donated seeds for the previous events, and will be running a similar event early in 2024.
How does it work?
The aim of the seed bank is to build a network of growers who are interested in seed saving and who are keen to get more people growing. Each grower (or group) then waits for the plant to go produce seed and harvests it. In the autumn we will then get together to pool our harvests. The seeds will then be distributed to anyone who would like to grow their own.
We now have a new location for the seed library in Guildford Library for people to swap and exchange seeds and collect those grown by the volunteers of the Guildford Seed Bank. It is just outside the non-fiction section on the first floor.