The Library Harvest

Feb 8 2013 @ 4:01pm

Libraries around the country are expanding their offerings beyond books – “residents can now check out seeds.” Luke Runyon reports from Basalt, Colorado:

In a corner of the library, Stephanie Syson and her 4-year-old daughter, Gray, are just finishing a book with a white rabbit on the cover. When Gray approaches the knee-high shelves filled with seed packets, she zeroes in on a pack labeled “rainbow carrots.” “We just read two books with bunnies in them, so we’ve got bunnies on the brain,” Syson says. Syson flips through a wicker bin labeled “carrots” and offers other varieties to Gray, like “atomic red” and “cosmic purple.”

Here’s how it works: A library card gets you a packet of seeds. You then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds from the biggest and best, and return those seeds so the library can lend them out to others. … [Library director Barbara Milnor] says that while a library may seem like an odd location for a project like this, seeds and plants should be open to everyone. That makes a public library the perfect home for a seed collection.