Spokane County Library District (SCLD) added a new twist to the seed library program, while still allowing patrons to grow and learn about local agriculture by growing seeds adapted to our region.
Before the pandemic, Deer Park Library had a “Take and Give Seed Library” in several of its locations. The idea was that you check out packets of seeds like you would a book, but with no late fees.
This program was designed to encourage our community to dig in and start a garden. In turn, patrons can learn about growing tasty, healthy food while interacting in the outdoors and with wildlife. You could borrow from a selection of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. This program was very hands-on. With the restrictions in place for COVID-19, the library came up with a solution called “Seed Packets”. This not only takes advantage of the materials and seeds already available, but enhances it by adding new items into the mix. An extra bonus is, unlike the limited locations before, these “Seed Packets” are available at all SCLD libraries.
The “Seed Packet” bundles are packages of a variety of gardening resources that will help you start your growing season. The bundles will have twelve different heirloom seeds each; mine had both vegetables and flowers.
It is important to note a couple of things:
- You cannot special request specific seeds at this time.
- You cannot place a hold on the seed bundles as it is a first come, first serve basis and available while supplies last.
- The prepared bags are limited to one per customer per visit.
How You Can Get A “Seed Packet”
- Go to any SCLD library during curbside pickup hours
- Park in an appointed curbside space
- Call the number on the sign, and ask for the “Seed Packet Bundle”
- If seeds are still available, staff will bring a pre-packaged assortment of 12 seed envelopes to you
The library staff made up as many bundles with additional materials as possible; however, you never know what you’re going to get in each one. At minimum, the seed bundles include: an assortment of 12 packages of seeds (vegetables and herbs), information about harvesting and saving seeds, and instructions for some gardening activities. Some kits include the supplies for the activities, but again, that was while supplies lasted. My bundle had a number of wonderful additional surprises, the first being soil and egg cartons in which to plant my seeds. Second, there was a premade newspaper pot and old newspaper with instructions on how to make more for replanting. Third, popsicle sticks were included to label the seeds planted. Finally, and my favorite, was a list of books about gardening. The list included not only non-fiction books, but fiction picture books to get little gardeners interested in learning this life sustaining activity.
One of the fundamental purposes for the “Take and Give Seed Library” was the importance of saving seeds. Heirloom seeds are used because they have the ability to adapt and produce seeds. However, at this time, due to the library not being able to receive saved seeds in their curbside pick up, they suggest people share their seeds with friends and neighbors. If you are interested in collecting seeds, please read our ”Collecting Seeds” article at: DPGazette.com/7eyq7