As part of our Backyard Garden Project, Green Venture has expanded and updated the Hamilton Seed Library in order to provide free seeds to the Hamilton community. The seed library is part of our goal to maintain biodiversity and help our community to become self-reliant. Read through this post to find out more about where you can get your seeds and what you can expect from us!
What is a Seed Library? How Does it Work?
The premise of a seed library is to act as a community resource for seed sharing, just like the public library does for books. Seeds are borrowed for planting and then harvested and returned at the end of the season for use in the following year.
Here are the basics:
Cost – the Hamilton Seed Library is a public resource, there is no cost to borrowing seeds.
Membership – no membership is required either!
Limits – there are no specified check out limits, however, since this is a shared resource please only take what you will use this season.
Returns – although we ask all borrowers to save and return seeds at the end of the season, nobody will be penalized for unsuccessful seed saving. Detailed information about seed saving will be released in the fall.
Donations – we greatly appreciate donations of open-pollinated, organic, or heirloom seeds. If you have a donation you can drop it off at EcoHouse or arrange to have it picked up by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where Can I Find Seeds?
This year we have set up a little library location outside at EcoHouse and have partnered with little libraries around the city in order to continue sharing seeds while also maintaining social distancing measures. For a full list of locations visit our webpage at https://greenventure.ca/ecohouse-garden-programs/.
(pictured: EcoHouse seed library, Jackson Playground little library – both stocked with seeds!)
The seeds we have available change based on season and donations we receive, so we do not have a set list of them. However, here are some current seed varieties that we have, to give you a basic idea for what we might have available:
Picking and Planting Your Seeds
We suggest that when picking out your seeds you try something you think you would enjoy eating and do a quick search for details on how to plant it! Most of our seed packages contain information about how deep, far apart seeds should be planted.
We know that the planting can be stressful so to simplify it, here are some tips for getting started:
- Rake through your soil before planting to break up any large clumps and removing weeds,
- Water gently (to not wash out the seeds) and keep soil moist,
- Mark where you planted – this can be with sticks, labels, anything that will remind you where you planted.
Beyond these basic tips, the Green Venture team will be working on creating content with local gardeners in Hamilton throughout the summer and fall with the goal of teaching new gardeners how to maintain their plants. That information will be posted here to our blog as well as on our social media pages. If you have a question about the seed library or a suggestion about what content we should cover, reach out to us!
The Hamilton Seed Library is a free initiative for all to borrow from! However, there are some costs associated with maintaining the program and ensuring seeds continue to be available for access. If you are enjoying your seeds, please help keep the program going by donating via E-transfer to email@example.com or on our page via PayPal.