At Hickory Flat library in Cherokee County, Georgia they lend more than books. They have a seed lending library! Here is how it works: Someone who is interested fills out a “Membership Form”. They can then choose a package or two of seeds. The selection is large. These are seeds that Cherokee County Master Gardeners have harvested from their gardens and numerous community projects. Seed companies have also donated seeds. Instructions for planting and plant information is on each carefully prepared seed package.
The seed library is organized by categories of seed (vegetables, herbs, flowers) in a beautiful display chest; there is something for every gardener . The seed packets are labeled “easy” or “advanced”.
At the seed display you can find information on saving seeds. Following instructions, as your garden matures you save seeds from your plants and return some to the library for the next gardener. The group cautions that advanced seeds should only be used by gardeners who understand about plant isolation to prevent cross-pollination.
This project is a partnership between Cherokee County Extension and the Sequoyah Regional Library System. The brochure states “We work to preserve the area’s agricultural heritage by promoting the use of regionally adapted seed, building genetic diversity and strengthening food security through education and a culture of sharing.”
Joyce Maikoski, a librarian at Hickory Flat, indicated that the program is already popular and the library is 100% supportive. The seed library opened just a few weeks ago and already their are 40 members. The seed library is free to the public and is supported by volunteers and donations. In support of the project the library has a display of related books.
This appears to be the first seed library in the state of Georgia. Cherokee County Extension Agent, Josh Fuder, approached the Cherokee Master Gardeners about the idea. Susan Franklin, Gerald Phillips, and Lynn Knotts all worked with Josh to make the library happen.
This is a unique and interesting way to spread the word about seed saving!