Mar 14, 2024 - News

New seed lending library at Bayview

Photo of a hand holding some seeds from an opened mason jar

Seeds at the Richmond Public Library in 2015. Photo: Liz Hafalia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) is piloting a new seed lending library at its Bayview branch, and it's available to anyone with or without a library card.

Why it matters: Seed libraries have become a popular way to collect local and heirloom varieties, especially those at risk of extinction.

How it works: At Bayview, visitors will find an old-fashioned card catalog housing the seeds for tomatoes, kale, cilantro, parsley and other plants.

  • After planting them, patrons are expected to save the seeds from the healthiest of their harvest and return them to the same library.
  • The initiative is part of SFPL's effort to promote sustainability and community engagement.
  • "We hope that by offering free seeds, we can inspire more people to discover the joy of gardening and contribute to a greener San Francisco," Annie Tang, Bayview branch manager, said in a press release.

State of play: Bayview is the SFPL system's third seed lending library, following Potrero and Portola.

  • SFPL also offers the opportunity to join the Mission Bay Branch Library Garden Club.
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