“Seed libraries promote seed and food sovereignty, nutritional literacy, and most of all cultivates community connections,” said OB Library assistant Destiny Rivera, who’s spearheading the pilot project. “Seed libraries provide access to free seeds, but also are equipped with robust programs and workshops.”
Accessing Ocean Beach’s new seed library will be similar to the system used to check out books and other materials.
“You check out a seed. You grow the seed, and then you return a seed,” Rivera said.
The librarian added the new seed library program will also offer educational classes by established gardeners. “We’re partnering with UCCE San Diego Master Gardeners and hosting their programs here,” Rivera said, adding the launch date for the seed library on Saturday, March 23 from 1 to 4 p.m. at OB Library at 4801 Santa Monica Ave. will be really special.
March 23 festivities
- 1 to 3:30 p.m. – Guest speaker Belinda Ramirez from Project New Village will present, “Food justice and social reform start in our own backyard.” projectnewvillage.org.
- 1:30 to 2 p.m. – Cathryn Henning from Wild Willow Farm and Education Center will discuss urban farming, regenerative practices and their impact in the community. sandiegoroots.org/farm/farm-school.php.
- 2 to 3 p.m. – Concert with legendary jazz musicians Steph Johnson and Rob Thorsen joined by special guest Jesus Gonzalez.
- 3 to 4 p.m. – An Educational Faire with UCCE San Diego Master Gardeners and the Mongol Tribe answering gardening questions and talking about their upcoming educational programs in association with the Ocean Beach Seed Library.
Also, numerous local gardening groups and civic organizations are collaborating with OB Library on its pilot seed program.
“Ocean Beach Elementary is looking forward to joining the Ocean Beach Seed Library Program for our expanding school garden projects,” said spokesperson Donna Lamb. “We will be adding a greenhouse, which will offer the opportunity for our students to plant their own seeds and learn the lifecycle of the plants.”
“The Ocean Beach Seed Library is a great addition to our Ocean Beach and Point Loma communities,” said Deanna Chandra, UCCE master gardener. “I’ve met many people interested in getting involved with sustainable urban agriculture in coastal San Diego, and this program helps folks get started.”
Chandra’s focus will be on “supporting the technical sustainability of keeping the seeds alive and well while in their dormancy at the OB library. I was able to receive a grant through the Master Gardener Association to purchase supplies that will lend themselves to the program's success.”
Chandra will also be presenting a monthly six-part “Beginning Vegetable Gardening” series at the OB Library. Each month, participants will be provided with education about how to successfully plant and grow their gardens. Topics will include planning, planting, soils, pest management, water wise gardening and harvesting.