Get growing with free seeds from the library

Have you ever been curious about what it would be like to grow your own vegetables? Have you ever thought about teaching your children or grandchildren where their food comes from?

Or, like me, have you ever been known for having a black or a brown thumb?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, Niagara Falls Public Library has some exciting news about a brand new collection coming soon.

This new collection is called Seed to Seed and will be available at all library locations. Vegetable seeds will be provided to the community free of charge and no library card is required. All you need to do is visit your local branch, choose up to three varieties of seeds and fill out the seed form. Each packet of seeds will come with brief instructions about planting and caring for your seeds. Depending on the variety, each packet will contain five to 10 seeds.
There are a variety of different seeds to choose from, including beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, cucumbers, collards, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, radishes, spinach and butternut squash.

The Seed to Seed program has chosen to use only heirloom or open-pollinating varieties. These varieties have been grown for so many generations that their physical and genetic qualities are relatively stable. When saved, these seeds will be true to type, or, in simpler terms, you will reap what you sow.

If you are new to vegetable gardening, you might want to know how to grow the seeds that you have chosen. If you require more information than what is included in your seed packets, you will certainly be in the right place to borrow a gardening book or two.

Additional online resources will also be available in the "Learn More" section of the Seed to Seed website. As well, please keep an eye on our online program calendar and follow us on social media to learn about the many upcoming programs related to seed saving and gardening.

After you have enjoyed the "fruits" of your labour, there is one small task left. Once the growing season is over, we ask that you harvest your heirloom seeds from your healthiest plants. The method for saving seeds depends on the variety and additional information can be found on our website.

Simply place your saved seeds in labelled envelopes and return them to any library branch. Saving seeds helps us to create a culture of sharing, where all members of our community can experience the pleasures of growing our own food. Saving seeds will also help to restock the Seed to Seed program for next year's growing season.

The Seed to Seed collection will be ready for you to borrow on Friday, May 17. Once I have visited the display of gardening books at Victoria Library, I will try to find out which varieties are the most forgiving and then make my seed selections. Hopefully, this will be the year that my thumb turns "green." Happy gardening, everyone.

Cathy Roy is the information resources and connections librarian, local history, for Niagara Falls Public Library.

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