by Connie Oswald Stofko
A seed library started May 11 at the Orchard Park Library and it’s already popular. About a week after the seed library was set up, the stock of seeds in the drawers had to be replenished, said Tim Allman, library assistant.
The Orchard Park Library is located at S-4570 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park.
When you enter the library, immediately to your right, in the book nook where the Friends of the Library hold their sale, you’ll see a stand with apothecary drawers. That’s where you’ll find the seeds.
The seeds are all labeled nicely and in alphabetical order, Allman said.
You don’t need a library card to get seeds, nor do you need to sign out seeds.
“You can just take what you want,” he said.
They do call it “borrowing” seeds because they hope that gardeners will plant the seeds, grow them and return some of the seeds from the new plants for the next growing season.
The seeds were purchased through a grant and consist primarily of vegetables: tomatoes, kale, eggplant, fennel and Brussels sprouts. There are a couple of flowers: elfin flower and garden pinks.
You can add to the library.
“We’re trying to keep the collection organic, but we’re very, very happy to take any seeds someone might wish to donate,” Allman said.
The seed library got help from the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County, who placed seeds in envelopes and carefully labeled them. It was an important and time consuming job.
“They helped us tremendously,” he said. “They were fantastic–superhuman, almost!”
The Orchard Park Library is also looking for a volunteer or volunteers who can build an outdoor seed lending library, modeled after the little lending libraries in people’s front yards that house books to borrow. If the indoor library continues to be as popular as it is now, the outdoor seed library will provide more space and allow people to get seeds when the branch isn’t open.
Other library branches with seed libraries are: