CACC is thrilled to announce that we will be constructing a seed library at our headquarters in Lake, Michigan. This seed library will support community and individual gardeners by providing affordable access to a diverse range of vegetable, herb, and companion plant seeds adapted to our growing conditions. (Buying good seed can get expensive fast, and selecting the best varieties for our region can be daunting to a new gardener.) This effort will also allow us opportunity to have a multi-generational impact by providing training and coaching to gardeners of all ages, and by encouraging family participation.
We are also excited to incorporate seed saving training into the community gardens we support. Currently, members of our organization are directly involved with managing 3 local food bank and community gardens. We also provide resources to 3 additional community and school gardens.
This new program includes a membership in the Seed Saver’s Exchange Community Seed Resource Program (CSRP), a nationwide network of seed libraries, community seed banks, and seed saving educators. The CSRP provides tools and guidance to community groups in the United States who are interested in creating seed-focused events, exchanges, libraries, and gardens. The CSRP is a collaboration between Seed Saver’s Exchange and Seed Matters, an organization that supports community seed initiatives and empowers community organizing around sustainable seed. CACC is proud to join with over 300 community groups in 41 states who have joined this program.
On a social-ecology level, we believe that local food systems are imperative to efforts to reduce oil and energy consumption, to conserve clean water, and to empower communities. Food sovereignty, the ability to control our own food supply, grants us the economic leverage we need to abandon destructive systems. The absence of food sovereignty in our communities, and the resulting reliance on the employer-paycheck-grocery store model, ensures an ample supply of laborers for oilfields, pipelines, and other destructive industrial projects. Food sovereignty programs teach people another way to put food on the table; a way that allows workers to develop their own systems of production that keep them at home with their families and communities.
Seed libraries are also essential in preserving genetic diversity. Many unique varieties can serve specific needs for small scale farmers, but will never be featured in a commercial seed catalog. An initial hurtle for the novice gardener is often an uninformed choice in commercial seed that then does poorly in a non-industrial setting. Our seed library will focus on preserving and distributing varietal genetics that thrive in several micro-climates local to our region. We plan to help new gardeners select seed that will do well in their particular garden, making for a positive first-time experience. With a volunteer base of over 150 people from across the state of Michigan, we feel we have a unique opportunity to preserve seed varieties that are unique to our bioregion. Stay tuned for more info.
Interested in getting involved or donating seed? Call the office at 989.544.3318
or email here, and be sure to include “CACC Seed Library” in the subject line