SUNDRE – The local library is once again helping greenthumbs sprout into their gardening season.
Packets of seeds are available at no cost to members of the Sundre Municipal Library until supplies run out.
“We have 10 different heirloom variety seeds available for pickup, along with a few other varieties care of seed donations from community residents,” said library manager Joy Willihnganz, adding there were about 350 seed packets made available this season.
In February, the library partnered up with a local business called The Garlic Ranch on a fundraiser that generated proceeds to purchase the seeds, which will remain available at no cost to members until either the end of June or the display near the front desk is depleted, Willihnganz said.
“Library patrons simply ‘borrow’ them with their library card and take them home to enjoy,” she said, adding that anyone who does not have a library membership can also sign up to get one at no charge.
“The first year of the seed library saw 450 seed packets distributed,” said Willihnganz. “Over the years, that number has grown substantially.”
Since first getting started, the Sundre Seed Library has distributed about 2,900 packets of seeds, she said.
The inaugural seed library was introduced in 2016 and ran annually until 2019 before being postponed in both 2020 and 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year ended up turning out to be more of an opportunity to regroup and reorganize in the fallout of pandemic-related disruptions, she said.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this program again and anticipate that it will be well received, particularly given the current cost of food and the increasing interest in growing food to reduce those costs,” she said.
Since first launching in 2016, the seed library’s most popular picks have “almost without fail” tended to be the most common vegetables including carrots, peas, beans and lettuce, as well as herbs such as dill and cilantro.
Near the end of June, there will also be some tomato starters available for purchase, followed by basil plants, she said.
And committed greenthumbs who might be keen to pay it forward by supporting the library’s program will have a chance to learn how to recoup seeds from their crops later this summer.
“We are planning to offer a program workshop in August on how to harvest seeds with the hope that residents will harvest seeds from their crop to donate to the library to keep the seed library going next year,” she said.
The library naturally also has a variety of gardening books and resources available for anybody interested in learning more.
“We have also created a pamphlet with growing tips and how-to's to get started growing your own produce and flowers,” she said.