Start-ups often need seed money to help them launch, and Eden Valley’s Seed Library has given this concept a new twist. Saturday, Feb. 15, the Eden Valley Area Library hosted a Spring Seed Exchange, free and open to the public. The garden seed available for checkout came primarily from Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, and a legacy from one of their long-time members.
Mary Ann Fox lived in Indiana, and she loved beans. Her bean collection included more than 200 varieties, and when she passed away, her family looked to Seed Savers Exchange for help. Pat and Anne Benson traveled to Decorah in July to attend a conference and learn more about saving seed and seed libraries, and listened to Aaron Burmeister from Seed Savers appeal to attendees to share in the legacy and take home some of Mary Ann’s beans. At the end of the weekend, more than a hundred varieties of beans had found a new home, yet a hundred plastic bottles of seed remained. These beans became part of the start-up collection of our local Seed Library and are now available to gardeners in the Eden Valley area.
Beginning with the Spring Seed Exchange Saturday, Feb. 15,
and continuing through May, library patrons are able to borrow garden seeds as easily as they can borrow a book. The idea is to checkout seeds in the spring, grow the plants, and gather a handful of seeds to return in the fall. Saving and trading seeds is something our ancestors did, and like Mary Ann, we are carrying on their legacy with our collection of open-pollinated, heritage seeds. Librarians are able to direct you to resources to learn how to garden and how to saves seeds. Video webinars are available for free viewing at www.seedsavers.org.
Eden Valley Area Library hours:
Sunday, Monday - closed
Tuesday & Thursday - 3-6 p.m.
Wednesday - noon-3 p.m.
Friday - 5:30-8 p.m.
Saturday - 9 a.m.-noon
The Seed Exchange was hosted at Eden Valley Area Library to allow for free exchange of garden seeds, open to the public, for open-pollinated seed (which can be grown, and seeds from the offspring can be collected for future planting). Many avid gardeners showed up to participate. Submitted photos.