Seeds are the basis of our agriculture and reproduce naturally. In a few decades, the private sector has privatized its use. The standardization of our agriculture and our food has considerably reduced the number of varieties used and marketed, reducing our resilience to external shocks.
The state of Guanajuato has a strong agricultural heritage, rich in traditions. However, it also suffers from a loss of seed biodiversity, which weakens the agriculture in the region, especially in these changing climatic conditions.
Soledad Saburido, co-founder
"Mexico is the center of origin of many crops: pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, many also mention beans. When you have all the diversity you need... diversity makes us strong enough to cope with an unexpected change in our environment. "
Somos semilla is a community seed library which aims to provide the community with access to seeds of crop varieties adapted to local conditions. The library operates according to a “donation-reimbursement” system. They also provide advices on how to use the seeds and why we need to promote free-of-use seeds. By protecting the agricultural heritage generation after generation, they play an important role in the long term for Guanajuato food resilience.
Soledad Saburido, Co-funder
"We have a seed library, seed loans, and we try to coordinate a network of seed keepers, we give the seeds, the people grow it at home, and they brings some of it back to the library. So that with a minimum of effort from a person, you can have access to a lot of seeds, all the seeds needed for your garden.
Somos semilla has also produced an illustrated manual displaying complete information on the production and conservation of seeds: "Cultivate-Harvest-Share: seeds for all".
"We very much wanted to make a book. Simple, easy to understand, but rigorous, complete. When you want to transmit something that is not very established in society, you can attract a little attention through the beauty and art." Soledad SaburidoSoledad Saburido, Co-funder
The initiative was born out of a call from SOL SMA (standing for “Sustainable,“ Organic ”, and“ Local Food Network”) addressed to the community of San Miguel de Allende with the aim of strengthening knowledge on seed conservation. The current coordinators, Jennifer Ungemach and Soledad Saburido, met at one of these meetings in February 2015 and created, with other members of the community, a seed library. The library works mainly with volunteers. In 2016, local artist Emily C-D joined the project by offering the library to promote seed conservation through the visual arts.
As of 2018, the library has approximately 200 members. Most come from San Miguel de Allende, but also from Querétaro, San Luis de la Paz, Guanajuato Capital, and the entire Bajío region.
The library contains all kinds of seeds, mainly vegetables, crops or species intended for direct human consumption. There is also a large collection of flowers, shrubs. They are mainly plants and crops of the region.
The Little Extra
To further establish the library on its territory, the inhabitants of San Miguel de Allende do not pay fees to access a maximum of 6 varieties. To access 12 varieties, they pay 150 pesos / year. Non-residents of San Miguel de Allende will have to pay a fee of 150 pesos / year to access a maximum of 6 varieties.
Last modification : 02 Apr 2020.