Seed library sprouting in Soldotna

Dec 2, 2021

Lora Hagelund says the seed library will be ready for the 2022 growing season. She received a card catalog cabinet from a donor and will be soliciting seed donations ahead of the library's launch in February, as well.
Credit Courtesy of Lora Hagelund

The Soldotna Public Library will soon stock seeds among its shelves of books and movies.

Lora Hagelund is spearheading the Soldotna Seed Library. She runs Stellaria Trial Garden in Kasilof, where she grows produce and keeps a small flock of chicken and geese.

“I will be contributing some seeds out of my own seed collection to the library," she said. "So that’s going to get us a good start. And then there are quite a few other people who have also said that they would like to donate seeds.”

A seed library is a place where growers can borrow and lend seed packets. Hagelund says seed libraries can be important tools for reducing barriers to entry to gardening.

“And it encourages growing food and saving seeds and gathering a collection of seeds that hopefully are grown in our area and acclimated to our climate," she said.

There are several seed libraries already around the state, including one in Homer. A bill passed in the Alaska Legislature in 2018 removed some of the regulatory hurdles to sharing seeds.

But the state still requires seeds to be repackaged and labeled. Hagelund’s applying for mini-grants and holding fundraisers to buy packaging supplies.

“And then hopefully we can get a bunch of people to volunteer to help package seeds," she said. "That’s going to be the most time-consuming part.”

For its part, the Soldotna Public Library is in. Hagelund says the seeds will sit near the front desk, in a donated card catalog cabinet.

She says she plans to start a Facebook group soon for supporters of the project. Those who are interested in donating time, money and seeds should keep an eye out for that group.

The library will also hold a seed-packaging party on Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.