2023 Celebration of Seeds Book List

It’s planting season! For the eleventh year, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has partnered with Grow Pittsburgh and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to bring you the Celebration of Seeds. We’re also excited to announce that we’ve expanded gardening programming to five CLP branches this year.  

This year, we’re bringing back the Annual Seed Swap at CLP-Main, a four-hour event featuring gardening workshops, seed giveaways, creative activities for children and teens and so much more. For more information or to register, check out the event here 

You can also find a Seed Starting workshop at CLP-Sheraden, The 411 on Leafy Greens, a workshop centered on best practices for leafy greens and tomatoes at CLP-Homewood, Gardening for the Whole Family at CLP-Woods Run, and Seed Germination Necklaces at CLP-Mt. Washington. Check out our events page for more information on these workshops! The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will host No Cost Farmers Markets at several events, so bring your reusable grocery bag if you plan to check out the workshops at CLP-Sheraden, CLP-Homewood, or CLP-Woods Run!  

Looking for more ways to learn about gardening, food justice, or sustainable practices? Check out the book list created by our partners at Grow Pittsburgh and Phipps below!

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at info@carnegielibrary.org.

The Book of Delights: Essays

In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives.

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby and eBook and eAudio on Hoopla.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants

Robin Wall Kimmerer is both a Potawatomi woman and a botanist. In Braiding Sweetgrass she describes how these identities enhance each other, indigenous knowledge used to structure studies in the field, and botany enriching the generational knowledge handed down by elders.

You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby. This title is also available as an eBook or eAudio on Hoopla.

Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land

In 1920, 14 percent of all land-owning US farmers were Black. Today less than 2 percent of farms are controlled by Black people: a loss of over 14 million acres and the result of discrimination and dispossession. While farm management is among the whitest of professions, farm labor is predominantly brown and exploited, and people of color disproportionately live in “food apartheid” neighborhoods and suffer from diet-related illness.

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby 

Koshersoul: The Faith and Food Journey of an African American Jew

In Koshersoul, Michael W. Twitty considers the marriage of two of the most distinctive culinary cultures in the world today: the foods and traditions of the African Atlantic and the global Jewish diaspora. To Twitty, the creation of African-Jewish cooking is a conversation of migrations and a dialogue of diasporas offering a rich background for inventive recipes and the people who create them.

Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden

Companion planting has a long history of use by gardeners, but the explanation of why it works has been filled with folklore and conjecture. Plant Partners delivers a research-based rationale for this ever-popular growing technique, offering gardeners dozens of ways they can use scientifically tested plant partnerships to benefit the garden as a whole.

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby and an eBook on Hoopla.

Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide

Craft a soothing aloe lotion after an encounter with poison ivy, make a dandelion-burdock tincture to fix sluggish digestion, and brew up some lavender-lemon balm tea to ease a stressful day. In this introductory guide, Rosemary Gladstar shows you how easy it can be to make your own herbal remedies for life’s common ailments.

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby and an eBook on Hoopla. 

Start a Community Food Garden: The Essential Handbook

Community gardening enhances the fabric of towns and cities through social interactions and accessibility to fresh food, creating an enormously positive effect in the lives of everyone it touches. LaManda Joy, the founder of Chicago’s Peterson Garden Project and a board member of the American Community Gardening Association, has worked in the community gardening trenches for years and brings her knowledge to the wider world in Start a Community Food Garden.

This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on Hoopla.


A vacant lot, rat-infested, and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Thirteen very different voices—old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.

This title is also available for checkout as an eAudio on OverDrive/Libby and an eBook on Hoopla. 

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods

Sandor Ellix Katz, winner of a James Beard Award and New York Times bestselling author, whom Michael Pollan calls the “Johnny Appleseed of Fermentation” returns to the iconic book that started it all, but with a fresh perspective, renewed enthusiasm, and expanded wisdom from his travels around the world.