The Christian County Seed Library launched for the season on March 1, at the Ozark Branch of the Christian County Library. This is the third year for the seed library, which is stocked with donations from Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and White Harvest Seed Company.
This year, the library received additional donations from local gardeners and the Christian County Master Gardeners during a seed swap event a few weeks ago.
Library patrons can take up to eight seed packets per person from the seed library to help jump start their gardening this year. Available seeds include a variety of vegetables, herbs, gourds, and flowers. Many are heirloom varieties.
Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, meaning they are pollinated by natural means and plants produced from their seeds will have the same characteristics of the parent plant. Seed saving with heirlooms produces good results, so those who take home seeds from the library may consider donating seeds back to the library to benefit other gardeners in the community.
The seed library is part of the library’s mission to facilitate lifelong learning among Christian County residents, with the specific goal of community members experiencing what it means to grow their own food, save seeds from year to year, and garden with their children or grandchildren.
The library has received a lot of positive feedback about it from library patrons over the last few years. Last year, the library’s Outreach Assistant Pam Cox planted a garden for the first time in many years with seeds she checked out from the library.
“I love all the bees and butterflies that the plants attract,” Cox said. “The fresh basil seeds saved me tons of money that I would ordinarily spend to make Thai food, and I used pumpkins for fall decorations and sunflower seeds for wildlife food over the winter.”
If library patrons want to learn about how to save seeds from their plants or find information on any other gardening topic, the library has several hundred print and e-books about gardening and can borrow books from other libraries as well. Check the library catalog at http://coolcat.org to search for books, browse the book display near the seed library at the Ozark Branch, or ask a library staff member for help finding just the book you need.
Library cards are free to all Christian County residents, and can be obtained in person at any Christian County Library Branch. Visit http://christiancoutylibrary.org or call (417) 581-2432 for more information.