Beginning this week, all locations of the Durham County library will take donations of seeds: vegetable, flower, and herb; hybrid and open-pollinated. In late April, county residents will be able to “check out” packets of seed from three library branches (Main, South Regional, and Southwest Regional) and grow the plants at home. They must save some of the seed from the open-pollinated plants they grow, and “return” those seeds at the end of the growing season. Workshops on seed starting and saving will be offered in April and later in the year.
The first seed library (or one of the first) in the US was founded in Gardiner, New York and became the Hudson Valley Seed Library, now a small business and certified organic farm dedicated to preserving heirloom and open-pollinated seeds and promoting biodiversity. The Durham County seed library is one of the first in North Carolina, but I hope to see many more sprouting up this year.
I’ll be writing more about the benefits and drawbacks of open-pollinated and hybrid seeds next week. Right now, I’m sorting through my own seed library to find what treasures I can share with my neighbors throughout the county.