Welcome to our Seed Collective!
The East Alton Library Seed Collective (EALSC) is a non-profit seed sharing resource located in the East Alton Public Library District. At no cost, the Seed Collective offers a collection of heirloom and home-grown fruit, vegetable, herb and flower seeds. EALSC is open whenever the East Alton Public Library District is open. A library card is not required to check out seeds.
What is a Seed Collective?
A Seed Collective is a collection of heirloom, organic seeds that you can "check out" and grow. It is open for use by anyone in the community, age 18+. In addition to offering free seeds, a Seed Collective provides a means of regional seed exchange while teaching people how to save those seeds successfully. It also accepts seeds in return, replenishing seed stock back to the collective. Seed Collectives work by creating relationships with local and regional growers. The returned seed enters the catalog and becomes available to more growers the following season, creating a sustainable seed collective system.
How do I borrow seeds?
Anyone can borrow seeds from our Seed Collective. Simply visit the East Alton Public Library District to browse our Seed Collective and it's accompanying catalog. Patrons must be 18 or older to use the Seed Collective.
Choose your seeds
Patrons can check out up to 6 packets of seeds per calendar year. EALSC is primarily maintained February through October, but you can check out seeds year-round. We will have a fresh inventory available for you each Spring.
Simply bring your seed selections to the circulation desk and fill out a membership form.
Grow your plants!
We encourage you to save a portion of seeds to return to the Seed Collective, although this is not a requirement. If you have any questions during the growing season, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
Why is seed saving important?
Saving seeds not only helps improve agricultural biodiversity, but helps farmers and researchers find varieties of crops that grow better in different regions. Seed saving is central to the ideals of sustainability and food security, especially in times of concern about climate change and food safety. Seed saving represents our original relationship to the land, a mutual connection between us as humans and the plant kingdom.
How Do I Return Harvested Seeds?
While appreciated, you are not required to return harvested seeds in order to use the East Alton Library Seed Collective. To return seeds, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Returned seeds must be in sealed envelopes, closed containers, or Ziploc bags. Make sure to label the seeds with your name, seed type, variety, source, and the purchase/harvesting dates. The East Alton Library Seed Collective is only able to take organic or heirloom seeds that have a documented source and purchase/harvest date.