White Bear Lake’s Seed Library Encourages Communities and Gardens to Grow

A new seed library encourages residents to start their own gardens.

When four White Bear Lake residents met to discuss a new gardening project in the fall of 2015, their chat led to a new addition to the community: a seed library.

A seed library is a repository of seeds that community members can “check out” from the White Bear Lake Library and plant in their own gardens. “It’s a way to get the community involved in gardening, and to get people interested in knowing where their food comes from,” says horticulturalist Pam Larson Frink, one of the founders of the seed library.

The seeds are organized and stored in drawers that were donated by the White Bear Lake Library; a three-ring binder catalogs the seeds and shows what the plant will look like when it is fully grown.

One of the greatest advantages of the seed library is that the seeds will eventually adapt to White Bear Lake’s climate and will grow better, says Frink. However, only native plant seeds or non-hybrid open-pollinated seed varieties can be returned to the library to aid the growing process and avoid complicated cross-pollinations.

To help the community learn about particular seeds and how to garden, Frink offers classes with topics such as how to grow plants from seeds; how to harvest, dry and save seeds for next season and how to start a garden.

“I’m excited about it,” Frink says. “I enjoy seeing people take the seeds to use them, and we’ve already had several people donate seeds that grew from the seeds they took from our library. I hope it continues to grow from year to year.”