Discover the Seed Library of Los Angeles meets at the Venice High Learning Garden


The phrase “seed library” sometimes gets confused with “seed bank,” but while both promote the saving of seeds, their individual missions differ substantially. Seed banks file away seeds like jewels in a safe deposit box; seed libraries offer members educational opportunities and a system of checking out seeds like books.

“The Seed Library of Los Angeles is an ongoing, interactive entity,” explains Krystal Rains, who became a member in 2013 and will give a talk, “Sowing and Saving Seeds for Natives,” during a group meeting on Saturday. “When you check out seeds like a book, instead of a two-week period you have a two-year period to bring seeds back. The goal is to check seeds out, get them planted, teach people about things like saving seeds and choosing the best varieties to save seeds, and not getting them cross-pollinated.”

Launched in December 2010, the Seed Library of Los Angeles is based at the Learning Garden at Venice High School. Its stated mission is to “facilitate the growth of open-pollinated seeds among residents of the Los Angeles Basin,” toward which end it is actively building a seed collection and opening branches across the county. New branches recently opened in Altadena and Woodland Hills, and another is scheduled to open in Watts this year.

Rains’ upcoming talk veers into discussion of bee colony collapse and native pollinators. Food production and food security are some of the other issues addressed at various branch events.

“It’s a free lesson in gardening and horticulture and botany,” Rains says, “and on a small scale, it’s community building.”

— Bliss Bowen

Krystal Rains discusses “Sowing and Saving Seeds for Natives” at 2 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 20) in the Learning Garden at Venice High School, 13000 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista. Membership not required for attendance. Visit for more information.