Demeter Seed Project

The Demeter Seed Project of UC Santa Cruz is a student-run, non-profit organization of local famers and gardeners who believe in the importance of preserving the genetic heritage of our food. The library was founded in 2011 by Andrew Whitman with a $10,000 grant from the Strauss Foundation and support from Measure 43. It is currently run by students involved in UCSC's Food Systems Working Group (read more about the librarians, below). The library is located in room 307 of the Oakes Administration building in Oakes College at UCSC.

Our mission is to preserve and breed locally adapted cultivars and seed varieties in California Central Coast. Our objective is to help gardeners and farmers access seeds and educate youth and community members about the importance of biodiversity in our agricultural systems. Additionally, we actively manage a web-based seed library social network, a national network to connect farmers and seed savers. Ultimately, our living seed library promotes the resiliency and autonomy of our local food system. We aim to demonstrate a society that is not reliant on large seed companies and multinational corporations that control the global food system.

We at the Demeter Seed Library conduct “grow-outs” to grow crop varieties to seed as well as work with local organic farms to grow seeds. We catalog seeds and distribute them to farmers and gardeners. We maintain a large inventory of seed by continually growing out the varieties that are older or have been greatly lent out. We encourage people who use our seeds to grow a portion of their crops through their lifecycle to bear seeds. 

We ENCOURAGE donations of both seed and/or money because we are always in need of both resources to increase our presence in the community. If you would like to donate seeds, send to:

UC Santa Cruz - Oakes Administration, Room 307
233 N Oakes Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

If you donate seeds please include information about the year it was grown out, the variety of crop, and where it was grown out! The more info the merrier! Thank you! If you would like to make a financial doniation and mail us a check please make it out to "UC Regents" and "Demeter Seed Library" in the memo line.....thanks!

If you have any questions about getting involved, about upcoming seed exchanges and other events, or about plant reproduction/seeds please email us at

Goals of the Demeter Seed Library

The Demeter Seed Library at UCSC thrives to service the Santa Cruz community by:

  1. Aiding backyard gardening projects with labor and seeds.
  2. Supplying information about urban gardening and seed saving to community members.
  3. Hosting events to teach about sustainable food systems especially involving the resilience and biological diversity of agriculture.
  4. Maintaining an inventory of heirloom seed varieties that prosper in Santa Cruz’s climate and are available to the public
  5. Distributing seeds freely to all!
  6. Connecting with other organizations for a more succinct transformation into a sustainable agricultural system

If you are not in Santa Cruz and are looking for a seed library near you visit the United States Seed Libraries directory

Meet the Librarians

Cameron Morton is a fourth year Environmental Studies student, concentrating in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. This will be her fourth quarter working at the Demeter Seed Library! She has done the CASFS Farm & Garden internship, worked in several home gardens of radical women in Southern Chile, as well as she tends to her own little home garden here in Santa Cruz. She is passionate about community building, preserving seeds for the sake of biodiversity and cultural diversity, as well as food sovereignty.


Office Hours:

Wednesdays/Fridays 9:30 am to 10:30 am

Diana Morales is a fifth year student majoring in Community Studies and combined Sociology/LALS. She is a Puréhpecha migrant from Santa Cruz Tanaco, Michoacán, Mexico. She was raised in Santa Ana, CA where her work in agroecology and community organizing began with the cooperativa CRECE (Collective in Resistance for Ecological and Cultural Empowerment). Since completing her field study with CRECE, she has worked with youth and community partners from Santa Ana to Watsonville on projects for traditional ecology, seed sovereignty and environmental justice.


Office hours:
Wednesdays 12 pm to 2 pm

Intern Office Hours
Gissele : Mondays 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Adie : Tuesdays 1:45 pm to 3:45 pm