Image by Philippe Leone

Resources

Castlemaine Seed Library aligns with a global community of like minded souls doing wonderful things. Earth care, people care and fair share.
Have a look!

Featured

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Growing, Saving and Sharing Seeds Around Castlemaine is a 4 page booklet produced by Castlemaine Seed Library as a resource for growing and saving seeds in our area. Lots of the tips are relevant wherever you're growing and saving seeds.

>> Download 4 page booklet

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The Seed Savers’ Handbook is a reference for growing, preparing and conserving 117 varieties of food plants.

Written in 1993 by Michel and Jude Fanton, founders of The Seed Savers’ Network, especially for Australian and New Zealand cultures.
The Seed Savers’ Handbook has 180 pages with stunning original illustrations. It's available to borrow from the Castlemaine Library!

>>Visit Seed Savers Network

Saving & Growing Seeds

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Kat Lavers - Seeds

Video from April 2020, featuring her own garden and highlights how to access seeds, grow them affordably, common mistakes and common seeds you can save from your own garden.

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Milkwood - Free Seed Saving Guide

A free downloadable guide AND how-to video to get you started with seed saving. Heaps of other great resources and inspirational articles, like this one on Seed Balls.

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Civil Eats TV: Saving Seeds with Kristyn Leach

Saving seeds is crucial for biodiversity and food sovereignty. Farmer Kristyn Leach of Namu Farms provides tips on how best to save seeds. A beautiful and thoughtful video.

Newcastle (NSW) Seed Library

Useful website with simple how to videos, and a great recommended reading list.

Seed Planting Calculator

Johnny's Seeds is located in Maine USA, but much of the information on their website is transferable. Including this tool to help work out the optimum time to plant seeds in various regions and calculates when seedlings will be ready to transplant or withstand your local climate, maximising your growing season. Another useful page is their Growers Library.

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Gardening Australia

a valuable resource to all gardeners through the television program, the magazine, books, DVDs and extensive online content. Provides practical, realistic, and credible horticultural and gardening advice, inspiring and entertaining all Australian gardeners around the nation. Presented by Australia's leading horticultural experts. Search their factsheets for 'seeds'.

The Enormous
Value of Seeds

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La Via Campesina

La Via Campesina; the international peasants’ movement took the opportunity of its 20th anniversary to launch a new website full of voices, faces, people and music. Representing 200,000,000 peasant, Indigenous and small farmers in 182 countries. An interesting and amazing website based in Zimbabwe. Join the actions and add your voice.

A Sharing Economy for Plants: Seed libraries are Sprouting Up

Thanks to intellectual property rights, agribusinesses and global laws, our ability to share seeds is restricted. Realizing this, food activists, garden enthusiasts and community leaders are trying to make it easier by making seeds available through libraries.

A Food Revolution Starts with Seed

The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme aims to support the development of a biodiverse and ecologically sustainable seed system in the UK and Ireland.

Around the world, seed diversity is threatened, and yet it is critical for ensuring a secure and resilient food system that serves both people and planet. At a time of climate crisis, there has never been greater urgency to protect and restore global seed diversity.

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Cents for Seeds / Love Mercy Foundation

Cents for Seeds is a micro-loan project running in northern Uganda. Uganda is home to some of the most fertile land in the world, however, in the years following the war, the people did not have anything to farm with - enter, Cents for Seeds.

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SEED The Untold Story

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food.   >>Film and Info

Soil

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Understanding The Role Of Soil Microbial Interactions For Soil Health

Australian Soil Ecologist Dr. Christine Jones fascinating presentation from the 2019 Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference, March 2019 Ada, Ohio, USA.

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Soil pH Guide

This Soil pH Guide on the Garden Express website gives a range of soil pH values recommended for many plant varieties. Soil pH is a measure of the relative acidity or alkalinity of the soil and is based on a scale with 7.0 representing neutral soil i.e. neither acidic nor alkaline.

Companion Planting

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Companion Planting

A detailed table of companion plants to assist in the growth and health of plants by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. They can be part of a biological pest control program.

Insects

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The insect apocalypse: ‘Our world will grind to a halt without them’

A fantastic article from The Guardian about loss of insects worldwide. We hope more children are encouraged to watch what is happening in their gardens, if they are lucky enough to have one. We loved the minute insect in compost which jumps 100mm to avoid predators.

Starting a Seed Library

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Our How to Guide...

We've been operating for 5 years, our community have borrowed thousands of seed packets and returned many too. We are in the process of documenting our process. Until it's ready to publish please have a look at the links below and contact us with any queries.

>>Email us

How to start a Seed Library

Presentation from the 10th Annual Seed Library Summit April 2021. >>Watch Video

On the same page is a step-by-step guide on how Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library (USA) started.

Simple Steps to Start your Seed Library

Public Libraries Association of America

>>Read Article

How to Start a Community Seed Library – Morag Gamble

Really great info by Australian permaculture designer, speaker, author, blogger, film-maker and teacher on the Our Permaculture Life website.

>>Video and Article

Grasshoppers

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A Mighty Girl - Food / Gardening

We must instil into the minds forever, of our very youngest the joys of botany, soils and organic food production. A massive collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls. Browse/purchase nearly 200 books on food and gardening.

Pic: Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals.

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Kids Gardening

Educator resources like ‘Lettuce Be Healthy’, easy parent and kid garden activitis, growing ideas, gardening toolbox and much more. kidsgardening.org has global appeal, based in Vermont USA.

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Seed Saving School

(Gardening Australia - SERIES 31, Episode 01)

A massive global seed bank is held in Norway, but there is also an important one at Woodlupine Primary School in Perth. Principal Trevor Phoebe said that many plant species native to the area were becoming endangered and the school wanted to be part of the solution. He asked Dr Andrew Crawford from the WA seed centre in the Department of Biodiversity if there was anything the school could do to help, and he suggested growing rare local plants so harvest the seed.

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Gardening Buds - ABC Kids Listen

With the help of gardening expert Costa, each episode Caylee will learn as much as she can about these big questions. Whether you’ve got a big backyard, a balcony or a little pot on a windowsill, get growing with Gardening Buds!

Seed Suppliers

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Boondie Seeds

A small Australian seed business based in the New England region in NSW. Providing locally grown seeds for over 10 years. Lots of interesting info and links on this page. Boondie Seeds featuring old traditional herbs, flower seeds for companion planting and colour, and strive to find the tastiest, most unusual and rare vegetable varieties and supply them at affordable prices. No GMO seeds, majority are heirlooms and open pollinated, traditionally grown for many generations so are suitable for seed saving. 

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Diggers - Certified Organic Seeds

Growing and selling a range of certified seed each year. Sourced from suppliers that follow the best organic growing and production methods.

The Seed Collective

>>View website

DEFEND FARMERS’ OWN SEED SYSTEMS

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Stop seed laws that criminalise farmers and defend local seeds

Seeds are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly put limitations on what farmers can do with their seeds and with the seeds they buy. Seed saving, a thousand-year-old practice which forms the basis of farming, is fast becoming criminalised. What can we do about this?

 

GRAIN is a small international non-profit organisation that works to support small farmers and social movements in their struggles for community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems.

 

Farmers’ fields are the first line of defense against bad seed laws. This means organising to rescue, collect, maintain, develop, share and use local farmers seeds. It is very important that women and young people are all involved. Start a project today!

>>GRAIN website and Poster