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Grand Rapids
Theological Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we're dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.

Create Without Ceasing

Miller Library Offers Patrons Access to Growing Heirloom Seed Library

News July 16, 2018

For the second year, patrons of Cornerstone University’s Miller Library can locate books on gardening near a wide-ranging selection of complimentary seeds. The library’s heirloom seed collection currently stocks seed packets representative of more than 200 plant varieties.

Elizabeth Thornburg (B.A. ’18), assistant circulation supervisor, oversees the initiative. Advisers include Dr. Matt Bonzo, professor of philosophy, and Laura Walton, interim library director.

“In the last century, we’ve lost about 94% of food seed varieties because of convenience and monoculture,” Thornburg said. “Seed libraries help counteract this.”

To start Cornerstone’s inventory of seeds, library staff members submitted applications to two heirloom seed companies—including Seed Savers Exchange—and accepted donations of heirloom organic seeds.

“Heirloom seeds are grown by one unique family or people group,” Thornburg noted. “Through preserving, growing and restocking these seeds, we can interact with people from different cultures, getting to know someone by what food they eat or partaking in a meal together.”

The seed library supplies seeds for the on-campus Virtue Garden, a hands-on opportunity for students, staff, faculty and volunteers to participate in seasonal gardening and grow produce.

Thornburg expressed hope for the university’s heirloom seed library to eventually become one means to help ensure that nearby urban areas have consistent access to fresh produce.

“I’ve always had a personal interest in food theory—from food acquisition to eating it,” Thornburg said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity and that the seed library has gotten the reception that it has.”

Read More

To learn more and begin the process of growing your own produce, Thornburg recommends adding these titles to your reading list:

  • “The Seed Underground” by Janisse Ray
  • “Seed to Seed” by Suzanne Ashworth
  • “The Seed Garden” by Lee Buttala and Shanyn Siegel (Eds.)
  • “Bringing It to the Table” by Wendell Berry
  • “The Vegetable Gardner’s Bible” by Edward Smith
  • “Mini-Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre” by Brett Markham

Kristina Garvelink (M.S. ’15)

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Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below.

Adult

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Graduate

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we’re dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.