San Diego

‘Seed Library’ in Ocean Beach Gives Community Free Seeds

Over 50 people have already signed up

Most people go to the library to check out books, but now you can check out a new seed collection that will sprout into plants, fruits, and vegetables. 

For those interested in growing their own food or plants, it's a simple process: fill out a membership form at the Ocean Beach Library, choose up to six seeds from an album, and take them home to plant. 

Once the plant grows, the hope is the gardener will cultivate the seeds and return them back to the library. 

The library, located on Santa Monica Avenue right off of Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach, boasts the only seed trove in the entire City of San Diego library system. 

"Say you check out a lettuce seed: you go home and grow it and we know that seed will do well in this climate," said Destiny Rivera, library assistant at the Ocean Beach Library. "Especially in Ocean Beach where there is a marine layer, we know these seeds will thrive." 

In recent years, San Diego gardeners and farmers have moved away from typical local crops like oranges, to unusual crops you wouldn't typically think would grow here, such as coffee beans

"We want to promote biodiversity and sustainable food sources," added Rivera. 

There are many different types of seeds to choose from. Anyone can sign up to get edible chia seeds, cilantro, and, beets. There are atypical options too such as ground cherry seeds (a type of tomato). 

"We have seeds from native plants around here as well," Rivera said. "Neighbors have given us a lot of local seeds."

You can even get seeds from the Torrey Pine tree, one of the rarest trees in the United States. 

Over 75 people have already signed up since the seed library opened in March. 

The seeds were donated to the library by San Diego Seed Company, the California Native Plant Society, and members of the community. 

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