Legislation On Governor's Desk To Protect Where Gardeners Get Seeds

Jul 5, 2016

A plan sitting on the Illinois governor's desk could protect gardeners and some of the places they get seeds.

Credit "Garden" By HomeSpot HQ / (CC X 2.0)

Seed libraries and seed swaps have become more popular as a way for gardeners to share. However, in some other states, regulations can effectively shut them down. 

Those consumer protections are primarily meant for commercial seed sellers and can require expensive testing to make sure the product is what it claims to be.

The Illinois Stewarship Alliance says applying it those rules to seed sharing is an over reach. The group's Rebecca Osland says seed libraries are small operations.

"There's one that's built into a regular suitcase. There's another that I've seen that is maybe a foot tall and it has 9 drawers in it. Just an old card catalog,” Osland said.

A measure on the governor's desk would protect seed libraries and seed swaps, but they would have to keep more detailed records.