The spring edition of The Local Table has hit the news stands. In it you will find all kinds of local inspiration. Turn to page 5 and you will find my news brief about The Nashville Public Library’s Seed Exchange. I share the original article below. For the love of spring, plant something to eat……
The Nashville Public Library has started a seed saving program called “The Seed Exchange.” Katherine Bryant, librarian at the Bellevue branch, was inspired by an NPR Salt article about the Pima County Seed Bank in Arizona. Here they have archived the largest seed saving bank by a public library in the United States. With more than 50 programs across America, Nashville is now doing their part to nurture a community of gardeners and farmers interested in protecting the very lifeline of our foodways. Katherine explains, “The Seed Exchange’s primary goal is to curate a bank of seeds that can be distributed to the general public, which will preserve and strengthen local bio-diversity. Another goal is to get people to garden, who may have not had the opportunity or inspiration otherwise.”
Here’s how it works:
The Seed Exchange is available to any Nashville Public Library card holder. Branches participating are Bordeaux, Inglewood, Edmondson Pike and Bellevue. Library patrons may “check out” vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seeds which have been packaged and labeled for the current growing season. Once the gardener has harvested their crop, seeds from the mother plant will be returned for the next growing season. Unlike books, there is no library fine for non-returned seeds. Seed return is not required, but certainly is appreciated.
There will also be a series of classes starting this spring. Seed starting, gardening, composting and seed saving are on the agenda so far. For class details,check out the events calendar at events.library.nashville.org.
A few of the Nashville Public Library community partners who have donated seeds are Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms, Delvin Farms, Hands On Nashville, Six Boots Collective and Master Gardeners of Middle Tennessee. Katherine is currently looking for more community partners to lead classes and to contribute a diverse array of seeds for The Seed Exchange. Any unopened seed packets and saved seeds which are open-pollinated or heirloom varieties are needed.
Sponsors’ logos will be included on any seed lending library promotional materials, and their support will be recognized at seed saving & gardening programs held at the library. Additionally, donations are tax deductible with a requested gift receipt. If you are interested in becoming a community partner or would like more information, please send all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you may visit their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/NashvillePublicLibrarySeedExchange, to become a community member.