Spring 2016 is right around the corner and with spring comes thoughts of green plants sprouting up through the ground. The Tamarack District Library has a new way to engage with our community this spring: a seed lending library. The seed library is open to anyone with a library card and is available to the public starting March 19th. We will have a kick off event for the seed library on March 19th starting at 1:00 PM. Did you know that Lakeview has a community garden? Volunteers with the garden will be available that day to talk about the community garden and how you can get involved. Our first speaker for this event is Ben Cohen of Small House Farm, a small homestead business located in Sandford, MI. Ben, who is a practicing herbalist, is best known for his work in maintaining the diversity of many heirloom crops through the traditional art of seed saving. Ben is going to share his expertise with us about growing and saving seeds.
Our main speaker is the Botanical Explorer, Joseph Simcox. As an international guest speaker at conferences around the globe, Simcox is a World Food Plant Ecologist and Ethnobotanist. Everywhere he goes, he shares his diverse depth of knowledge about food sources and seeds.
The seed library and its events are for the entire family, spread the word!
The motto of the new Seed Library is Select, Sow, Share. Here is an overview of how it works:
Step One: Select
Browse through our collection of donated Open Pollinated and Heirloom seeds.
Open Pollinated are seeds that naturally pollinate and have adapted to our local growing conditions over time. Heirloom seeds are varieties that have passed down through many generations in a family or community.
If you are a beginning gardener, select just a few packets, concentrating on seeds that are categorized as “easy”. These include bean, pea, lettuce, and tomato.
Sign up as a participant in our Seed Library program, then use your library card to “check out” the seed packets. You might also want to browse our gardening books to learn more about your seeds and soil.
Step Two: Sow
When you get them home, keep your seeds dry until ready to plant. Follow planting instructions for each variety, noting when and how deep to plant. A planting chart can be found online or pick up one from the library.
Some plants have to be started indoors and transplanted after the last frost date. In our area this is May 15th.
Gardening is a great outdoor family activity and a way to reduce the stress of a long work day. Caring for plants and watching them grow is a very fulfilling activity.
Share your photos with us to let us know how you are doing. We would like to send you a follow up survey to let us know how your seeds grew.
Step Three: Share
Help us keep our seed library going! If you would like to save seeds to share back to the library, make sure to save seeds from your strongest, tastiest and most vigorous plants.
For plants with seeds that grow in pods or on the outside of the plant, allow the seeds to dry on the plant and collect them before they break open. These include flowers, herbs, beans, carrots.
For plants with seeds that grow inside the flesh of the fruit, the seeds will need to be rinsed off and dried thoroughly. These include tomato, watermelon and squash.
Save some seeds for yourself, and return a portion back to us, and watch our community grow!