A West Virginia University geographer has established a Morgantown Seed Preservation Library.

He is working to increase access to Appalachia’s heirloom seeds through this library.  Heirloom seeds are seeds grown by home gardeners and farmers prior to the 1940s, before industrial agriculture became the more prominent model. 

On Friday, an opening ceremony was held for the library at the WVU downtown campus library. 

This event was held on the 5th annual Food Justice Day.

“It’s culinary significance, and cultural significance and how they are brought into this region.  How they are cultivated, how they are passed down generations, kept in families, and then also, how they affected the farming traditions in the region,” said Mehmet Oztan, professor of geography and creator of the seed library. 

Following the opening ceremony, a seed-swapping event was held at the Morgantown Public Library. 

The Morgantown Seed Preservation Library is a collaborative effort by the Morgantown Public Library, WVU Libraries, and the WVU Food Justice Lab.