Growing Ester's Biodiversity, or GEB, is a new program being established at the John Trigg Ester Library. The program was proposed in late June 2011, and will launch in early 2012 with a book and movie group. To sign up for the e-mail list, please contact us at, or see our Facebook page and the library's blog for the latest announcements.

GEB program pages

Upcoming events (see also calendar page)

  • discussion group launch
  • seed swaps (February, March, or April)

What is a seed library?

A seed library, or community seed bank, is a way that the public can promote agricultural biodiversity specific to their local region, preserving heirloom garden varieties and learning about seed saving and starting. Members "check out" seeds from the library to grow in their gardens, and participate in workshops, reading groups, or other events. At the end of the growing season, selected seed suppliers or program members "return" seeds to the library for use next year.

About the program

Program mission: (coming soon)

The purpose of the GEB program is to:

  • create an accessible and affordable source of regionally-adapted seeds that grow well in the Ester area that is maintained by a local community of caring farmers and gardeners;
  • educate library members and the public about biodiversity, garden and plant ecology, sustainable food production, food sovereignty, cultural traditions concerning food and agriculture, heirloom varieties, Ester and Alaska’s agricultural history, and related topics;
  • build community awareness and connections through partnerships between the library and local nonprofits, food producers, horticulture businesses, gardeners, educational institutions, health practitioners, artists, and others; and
  • strengthen the JTEL’s connections to its community, membership, and volunteers; broaden the relevance of the library to area residents; set an example for other libraries and organizations; and support and supplement the other educational programs of the JTEL.

Book/movie discussion group

The GEB program will begin January 2012 with a book & film discussion group. See our developing list of books or movies that we will be choosing from, or send your suggestions for titles.

Program partners

The GEB program relies on strong community partnerships. We are forming cooperative partnerships with local agriculturalists and institutions, including:

A group is forming to obtain grants to fund this program. Team members so far include David Fazzino, Deirdre Helfferich, Phil Loring, Bob Mikol, and Matt Springer.

For more information

Program Coordinator: Deirdre Helfferich, 451-0636

Facebook Page: Growing Ester's Biodiversity: JTEL's seed library

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