January 23rd, 2018

Seed Library


Pay your $5 seed library membership online here! 

Or mail payment to:

Squamish CAN

PO Box 2215

Garibaldi Highlands, BC

V0N 1T0

Orientation Dates

We are running Seed Library orientations most Sundays in April and May 2017. Visit our Event Calendar page and Facebook events to find out when.


About the Seed Library

The Seed Library launched March 12, 2017. We have a collection of donated vegetable, flower, and herb seeds for community members to take. Users will be asked to pay a nominal membership fee ($5) to use the library. You don’t need to return seeds in order to take seeds, but we hope that you grow the seeds you take from the library, let those plants go to seed, and return some seeds to the library for others to plant next year.

Big thanks Salt Spring Seeds, West Coast Seeds, Dragonfly Seeds, and the Victoria Seed Library for our initial donations!

Why have a Seed Library?

It enables us to collectively adapt seeds to our Squamish climate, so we will have homegrown varieties that grow well where we live. In the event that our global climate changes substantially, we hope that different communities can swap seeds that are adapted to growing well in different climates. Currently, large seeds producers only sell seeds that are adapted to one area.

Seed saving is economical, fun, and empowering!

At the same time, we hope to foster a community of seed savers and growers, share knowledge, and have fun doing it!

Where is the library located? 

The Seed Library is now hosted at the Squamish Public Library, just to the right of the entrance. We will be hosting “pop up” seed library events at community events this summer. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter (on the right) for updates.

How does the seed library work? 

For an annual fee of $5, anyone can become a member. A membership to the Seed Library grants you unlimited access to any of the seeds we have available. We ask that you only take 2-3 seeds for every plant you intend to grow this season. Example: if you would like to grow 3 tomato plants this year, take 6 to 9 seeds. For super small seeds, take a pinch. Some seeds have been repackaged for you already into smaller baggies or envelopes. Have a look inside the envelope.

We provide envelopes for you to take your seeds home. Label your envelope with as much info as you can about the seed: the seed company or who grew them, year, variety, latin name, days to maturity, any growing notes, etc., so that if you bring seeds back, you can pass on that info to the next grower.


How is the library organized? 

The library is organized by plant family, and then by type and variety within that. For example, if you are looking for scarlet runner beans, you would look in the Leguminosae/Fabaceae Family (Bean) box, then look in the “pole bean” section, then find the scarlet runner beans.

The “Super Easy”, “Easy”, and “Difficult” labels on each family indicate how easy it is to get true seed from the plants, not how easy the plant is to grow. Getting true seed means that the parent plant has not crossed with another variety, and the offspring plants will grow into the same plant as the parent. More info on that below.

How do I return seeds I’ve grown? 

First, ensure your seeds are “true” and have not crossed with another variety of plant in the same species (e.g. beets and chard are the same species, Beta vulgaris, so will cross if the are flowering at the same time within approx 3 kilometres.)

Start with the Super Easy seeds if you are new to seed saving. These varieties are very unlikely to cross with others. The super easy seeds include, beans, peas, lettuce, and tomatoes. Different varieties of these plants can be grown close together without worrying much about crossing (it’s a good idea to separate different lettuce varieties by 25 ft, and different pea varieties by 50 ft).

For more info on saving seeds, see the resources below.

How can I learn more? 

We are offering weekly orientations every Sunday in April and May from 10:00-10:30am at the Public Library. Come learn how the library works, become a member, and take out seeds. Also keep an eye out for seed saving workshops, especially in the late summer. Follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter (on the right) for updates.

Additionally, peruse the educational materials below to learn more about seed saving.

History of the Seed Library

In the summer of 2016, a group of enthusiastic community members have come together to increase Squamish’s seed sovereignty in two ways: start a Seed Library in Squamish, and host a Seedy Sunday. The first Seedy Sunday was a resounding success, and the Seed Library continues to take new memberships at the Squamish Public Library.

For more info, contact michalinahunter@gmail.com



Poster: How to Use the Library

Brochure: How to Use the Library Brochure

Brochure: How to Save Seeds Brochure (includes list of “super easy”, “easy”, and “difficult” seeds

Poster: New to Seed Saving

Seed Label

Planting Guide (View a more detailed chart here.)

Plant Family Index

Seed Returning Protocol

Six Tips for Saving Seed

Seed Saving Chart: Crossing Distances, Population Sizes, etc. (Note: for personal and community seed saving, most population sizes can be smaller, eg. 6-10 plants)

Avoiding Cross-Pollination

Seed Saving Details by Plant

“Seed to Seed” by Suzanne Ashworth


Very Helpful Seed Saving Videos!: 

How to Save Lettuce Seeds

How to Save Pea and Bean Seeds

How to Save Tomatoes, Peppers, and Eggplant

How to Hand Pollinate Squash and Zucchini to Ensure True Seed



On March 12, 2017, Squamish joined hundreds of communities in hosting our first annual Seedy Sunday! 2018 date TBA.

It was at the Brennan Park Black Tusk Room from 10am-2pm. We had seed and plant vendors from all over BC, a free seed swap table, workshops on gardening and seed saving, and kids activities.

More info to come. If you are interested in volunteering, please email michalinahunter@gmail.com.

It’s Seed Order Time!

Food Education Series