Two More Seed Libraries Grace the Island City

Alison Limoges &nbsp&nbsp The homeowner and Girl Scouts of Troop No. 33373, eighth-graders: Jennifer Proffitt, Meadow Mihok and Alice Onderwater, celebrate the opening of the new seed library at 16 Cove Road on Bay Farm Island.

Two More Seed Libraries Grace the Island City

When Girl Scout Leader Jill Proffitt learned of the Alameda Backyard Growers (ABG) Free Seed Library, she saw an opportunity for the Girl Scouts to help. Girl Scout Troop #33373 of Alameda, which includes eighth-graders Jennifer Proffitt, Meadow Mihok and Alice Onderwater, recently built, painted, and installed two additional seed library boxes to earn the Girl Scouts Silver Award. The Silver Award is a community engagement project that asks the Scouts to examine issues within their own neighborhood and think about what they can do to make a difference.

The pandemic has brought many issues to surface, including the lack of food security and resources for many individuals and families. When Alameda Backyard Growers saw a shortage of gardening resources, they addressed it by opening up a seed library to encourage people to grow food. The Girl Scouts have joined the community effort to take action and get seeds out to the community.

Thanks to generous homeowners, Gina Kaler and Maggie Maiers and project advisor Ken Carvalho, the Girl Scouts have installed two additional seed library boxes on opposite ends of the Island. The ABG Free Seed Library can now be found on the West End at 305 Santa Clara Ave., and on Bay Farm Island at 16 Cove Road, in addition to the original Seed Library at 2829 San Jose Ave.

Similar to the seed library concept at Alameda Free Library and Little Free Book Library, the idea is to get seeds out to those who will use them. Families and individuals are encouraged to take only what they will grow and up to 6 packs of seeds per month. Growing information can be found on the seed packets and on the ABG website: alamedabackyardgrowers.org.

Four AgChem giants control 60 percent of the worldwide seed market. The seeds used in the ABG Free Seed Library are purchased from or donated by smaller seed companies, such as Sustainable Seed Company, Botanical Interests, Renee’s Gardens, Hudson Valley, Baker Creek, High Mowing and Johnny’s. The seeds are also collected from personal and school gardens. ABG plans to spend more time each year educating the public on how to save seeds, to help save money and provide an alternative to corporate control.

The Girl Scouts of Troop #33373 and Rotary Club of Alameda sponsored many of the seeds for the Spring season and ABG is seeking more business and community partnerships to sponsor a seed or a season. Write to abg.grow.food@gmail.com for sponsorship information.

Birgitt Evans &nbs  The scouts also christened the new seed library at 305 Santa Clara Ave. with the homeowner.

ABG is dedicated to teaching Alamedans how to grow food. See www.alamedabackyardgrowers.org to learn more.