Friday, September 20 • 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Plant a Seed, Grow Food Access: Rochester Public Library's Collaborative Seed Library

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"Stronger Together" describes the community-wide partnerships that make the Seed Library at Rochester Public Library (RPL) a success. It could not be done without the passion and expertise of all the partners. What started as a program proposal to RPL by Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick of the Plant a seed. initiative and Heidi Kass of the Backyard Bounty Urban Homesteaders Meetup, turned into a free, educational, skill-based, and culturally aware project for our community. In this presentation, we will recount pulling together the Southeast Region University of Minnesota Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed), the History Center of Olmsted County, and University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Olmsted County to make the Seed Library possible. We will review the process that went into creating the Seed Library including making sure the 9,000+ packets of seeds offered reflected the diverse cultural diets of our area. We will also cover our funding mechanisms and the cataloging, marketing, classes, and outreach we are doing to provide resources, educate, and inspire participants to grow their own food. Lessons learned regarding processing costs, time, and sustainability of the project will also be shared.


Keri Ostby

With sixteen years of library experience, Keri Ostby has spent the last seven years as Head of Technical Services for Rochester Public Library (winner of the 2018 National Medal for Library Service). Keri’s role throughout the Seed Library project has focused on managing partnerships... Read More →

Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick

Kelly created the Plant a seed. initiative to educate and inspire her community to better understand the food system. Food security is a growing concern globally, and Rochester, Minnesota has nearly doubled its food deserts since 2010. Through agency partnerships, Kelly plants seeds... Read More →

Heidi Kass

Heidi Kass is a long-time Rochester resident and avid gardener. In 2017, Heidi established a community-wide group for people interested in learning about urban homesteading and self-sufficiency. Starting a seed library in Rochester was their first community outreach project. She teaches... Read More →

Judy Goldsmith

Judy Goldsmith’s career spans 34 years at Rochester Public Library (winner of the 2018 National Medal). As a member of the Technical Services staff at RPL, Judy created cataloging records for the Seed Library. An avid gardener and member of the local garden club, Judy utilizes... Read More →

Friday September 20, 2019 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Owatonna 3

Attendees (21)