It’s official. Come to the Almonte Library at 1:00 pm. on Saturday March 21st for the launch of the Mississippi Mills Public Library Seed Library. The seed lending library is a free exchange designed to promote healthy local food and a stronger gardening community. It’s also a great way to save some money and try seed stock suited to northern gardens.
The underlying idea is simple. “Borrow” some seeds with the idea that you may be able to share some seeds from your garden when your harvest has matured. Or, if that doesn’t work for you, you can donate the remainders of your seed packages, which will be re-packed by our committee and set out to be picked up by another gardener in the community.
“The interest is definitely here in the community. The response has been great!”, says Karen Kiddey, library employee and a member of the seed committee. On opening day there will be at least 1,000 seed packages to peruse. The focus has been on finding open-pollinated and heirloom seeds that can be saved and replanted from year to year. “In particular, our heirloom tomato seed offerings are really awesome!”, Kiddey adds.
Many gardeners save seeds and are excited to have a place to bring their surplus, and see what other gardeners have to offer. The library has received generous donations of vegetable, flower, and herb seeds from local growers, seed suppliers, and from both Almonte and Pakenham Horticultural Society members.
In the past year, the committee held several events, including a seed saving workshop, a tomato taste test at the farmer’s market, a pumpkin power event, and most recently, a series of four organic vegetable gardening workshops presented at the library in collaboration with the Neighbourhood Tomato.
“This is such a positive community project. We have some amazing gardeners and expertise in our region. And new gardeners are interested in food security and knowing where their food is coming from.” says Kiddey.
Joining the seed library is a good way to discover new varieties, preserve older varieties, and share your gardening experience with friends and neighbours. If you don’t have space for a garden, many varieties can also be grown in containers.