Nightly News | March 22, 2013
>> of progress. even though spring has gotten off to a cold start in a lot of our country, planting season can't be all that far off. that brings us tonight to a movement under way in this country to save the seeds of one year's harvest to plant in the next and create something of a legacy over the years. nbc's diana alviyar reports from richmond, california .
>> reporter: kelly grows a bounty of fruits, vegetables and herbs in her california backyard.
>> this is cilantro.
>> reporter: all by borrowing seeds from her local library. an old fashioned card catalog houses hundreds of varieties. rebecca newburnd the library three years ago.
>> you can come and check out the tomato plants.
>> reporter: it's simple. and it's free.
>> we want you to plant them, grow them out and return the seeds for other people to borrow.
>> reporter: it's how people farmed for centuries, saving the seeds from one year's harvard to plant the following season .
>> people have moved away from the farm, growing their own food and a lot of the varieties weren't saved. so we have lost tons of genetic diversity.
>> reporter: many varieties are now patented by large conglomerates for use in commercial farming. that spurred a movement to reclaim seeds as a community resource.
>> i really like tomatoes. it's something you can save the seed and eat at the same time.
>> reporter: a seed summit at university of california santa cruz featured seed saving lessons and a seed swap. in the u.s. alone there are 60 seed libraries in 23 states and more are in the works.
>> the more disconnected we get, the less power we have and less control we have over what food is produced and how it's produced.
>> reporter: when kelly saves and shares seeds they represent a lot more to her than just lettuce and peas. for her, they represent a political act.
>> if you have seeds, you hold the capacity to grow your own food and to feed yourself.
>> reporter: it's become a family affair for kelly . snipping salad greens for dinner with her daughters. for others it is a necessity.
>> i have people that are like, thank you, i could not have healthy food if it weren't for the fact that they could get access to free seed.
>> reporter: cultivating an appreciation for nature's gifts one seed at a time. diana alviyar, nbc news, richmond, california .