Through the resources it makes accessible, the library bestows upon us the opportunity to expand our minds, improve our processes, elevate our perspectives. It gives us the ability to grow. 

On Saturday, March 2nd, with the Carnegie Library’s 12th Annual Celebration of Seeds, the potential for growth offered manifests not only as something that occurs inside ourselves, but as something that occurs inside a pot.  

Initiated in 2012, the event also known as Seed Swap includes workshops on seed starting, seed gardening, and organic gardening; the chance to talk with garden experts; and hands-on activities for children and teens. Additionally participants will go home with a selection of seeds  to get started. 

“This began as a way to encourage sustainability and food justice,” says Laura Swanson, Library Services Supervisor, New & Featured, “It works to empower people by providing them the wherewithal to grow their own food.” Swanson directs the event within the library space, additionally acting as liaison with partner organizations Phipps Conservatory and Grow Pittsburgh

“This is really for everybody, from a beginning gardener to someone who’s been doing it for fifteen or twenty years,” says Swanson. Those digging their hands in the dirt for the first time will find support and encouragement through education and instruction; for folks whose first sprouts are now trees thick with rings, there’s always more to learn. 

For everyone, there’s seeds. While “swap” might suggest bearing something to trade, it’s not necessary to bring anything to participate, or to receive. Those who are able to donate can enter into a raffle for the chance to win one of three garden-themed baskets assembled by the presenting organizations; all attendees will take home seeds thanks to the generosity of the event sponsors (listed at end).  

Seeds will swap at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Main Branch in Oakland from 10 am- 2 pm. Advance registration is encouraged and can be done through the library’s website, as anticipated attendance has passed the 1000-person mark, but walk-ins will be welcomed. 

seeds for this event have been provided by the following organizations:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds


Chapon’s Greenhouse

The Farm

Grow Pittsburgh

High Mowing Organic Seeds

Phipps Conservatory

Renee’s Garden

Seed Savers Exchange

True Leaf Market