Sarah Pope of the Hotchkiss Library was extremely pleased at the reception the public gave the Seed Swap on Jan. 15. Most who attended brought seeds to swap and others were encouraged to come and pick up some seeds for their gardens this year.
There were plenty of seeds to go around.
The Seed Swap is the outgrowth of Kit Stephenson's winning application for a Heart and Soul grant. She won the People's Choice mini-grant. Stephenson is the North Fork Valley regional library manager.
"The first year we are launching, we are just going to have the [North Fork Seed Library] in the Hotchkiss Library," Pope said. "But we are going to have the seeds available for circulation throughout the five libraries. People can place a hold on the seeds through the catalog and have them sent to their home library and pick them up there for check out."
The catalog will be online. Someone in Delta could go online, search for basil seeds, place a hold on the variety wanted and pick it up at the Delta Library. The seeds will be sent from the Hotchkiss Library to the Delta Library. You'll use your regular library card to check out the seeds.
"The hope and the plan is that people will take the seeds home, plant them and save them for seeds," Pope said. "We'll be offering seed saving classes in the spring. But there's no penalty if someone is not able to save seed or doesn't have any left. There's no late time with the seeds. We're just starting the dialogue about seed saving."
The Seed Swap was to peak interest in the North Fork Seed Library. The library will only use heirloom seeds. Those are the best for seed saving.
"Heirloom basically means the seeds are easy to save. If you select a seed from the mother plant and planted it, that seed will grow and be very similar to the mother plant. The seed is fertile," Pope explained.
Hybrid seeds are not fertile. Perhaps that's what you've been planting and causing you to become depressed. It's not that you don't have a green thumb. It's the hybrid seeds!
At the Seed Swap, a number of books about gardening and seed saving were on display. The North Fork Seed Library will have books and films about seed saving in addition to offering classes.
Pope said the hope is to launch the seed library by the end of February or the beginning of March. Classes will start in March.
There are over 180 seed libraries in the United States. The Basalt Library started one last year.
"My personal side of this is that I'm a big gardener and really excited to be involved in the project," Pope said.
At the Seed Swap, the seeds were dedicated to a table organized by plant family. There were all kinds of seeds for vegetables, fruits, herbs, beans, flowers and some curious miscellaneous seeds as well.
The Seed Swap's Garden Dreams and Wisdom Area was located on the far wall in the Memorial Hall ballroom. "People wrote down their hopes and dreams for this year's gardens. They could share any wisdom or experience they had from the past," Pope said. "I've been encouraging people if they know how to keep squash bugs out of their squash patch to write it down. We should all know that."
She is hoping that the Seed Swap will be an annual event.
"Don't be afraid," Pope said to those who are just beginners at seed saving.
Elaine Brett of the Heart and Soul Project was thrilled at the success of this new program. "The response today was fabulous. Kit and Sarah have just done a great job in putting it together," Brett said. "It was fun to come out on a cold winter day and start thinking about planting seeds."
Call Sarah Pope at the Hotchkiss Library at 399-7781 if you have questions about the Seed Swap or the North Fork Seed Library.blog comments powered by Disqus