Free Seed Library: What a fun idea!

I like the addition of canned foods to this idea. I am out in the country, so this wouldn't be something that would work well where I am.

Maybe some of you could start one.


Comments

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭

    We have food pantries and Library book small houses on a platform. I imagine it could be a possibility in our neighborhood.

    Do any of you have Next Door in your Neigborhood?

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My city started a free seed library this year. They are running it out of the public library and stocked extra gardening books for beginners. I was thinking of going to see what the set up is like. They opened a couple of weeks ago according to the local newspaper.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    There is a “Free Plant & Garden” stand and group the is available all over the Phoenix & Tucson AZ areas. Anything plant or garden related can be traded at them. They have even made the news. Gardeners exchange everything from seeds, seedlings, produce, cuttings, dirt, painted rocks, pots or containers to styrofoam pieces and more. There are social media sites with the list of all the stands you can visit and post photos of items you left or picked up at one, none of which is required. It started with around 15 stands and now has well over 50. Many of the locations also have the free libraries as well.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,503 admin

    @gardneto76 Is there a website for this group or is it just on social media? Are you able to share links?

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,100 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love the idea of this and especially the canned goods but in our community it would never work. We have food banks in many of our communities here even out in the more "remote" areas Many of which are not what I consider remote including my own little village. We have had folks who went to the food bank in one community, left there and went 30 miles to the next village and did it again and about 30 miles to the next one and hit that one as well. Many live somewhere in the middle areas so not a long drive to either end.

    If we had free canned goods intended to share or swap one or two people would take everything there and not share anything. What is worse is when I volunteered at our local food bank many of the folks when they went to the non- government supplied room were alowwed so many items each which depended on the number of people living in the household. I saw several who would get mostly the snack food, sweets, etc. and not take canned foods like vegetables or fruits. Just junk food. Later I would see these same people at the store I work at coming out of the liquor store with carts of booze. They could afford to buy the booze and wanted the meats and junk food but not the healthy, higher nutrition veggies or fruits.

    Had one fella coomplaining he had not had real potaotes in several months cause he couldn't afford them. I brought in items from my house the next day, raw, fresh potatoes, carrots, some canned foods and a whole chicken (frozen). He was quite happy to take them. !0 minutes later he was in the liquor store buying booze with cash. He has never gotten a handout from me again and I have warned many people about him.

    Another woman who had just moved here and just started work but would not get a check for two weeks, the store owner bought her a bunch of food and I bought her more to help out since her daughter lived there two. We made sure they had enough for a couple weeks. The she starts talking a day later about how she has subscriptions to two different makeup clubs, and several other useless types of things she was buying online.

    I'll help folks but not when they can afford to buy junk, booze, cigarettes or drugs but not food.

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,148 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Somebody just put up a neighborhood library (books) in the commons area. I think this seed library could go next to it!!

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 1,132 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2022

    The seed library sounds like a great idea. In my gardening club, we frequently bring our extra seed and plants to share with each other, but that is just in our little group. At our local farmers market, one vendor brought seed and plants for people to take for free the last time I was there. The farmers market only occurs monthly during the winter, but it will soon be weekly. I'll be interested to see if the seed/plant give-away happens later in the season.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    This is very neat! I will have to look into this at my school. Maybe make it part of the seed bank I am building? 🤔

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,503 admin

    @Cornelius That sounds awesome!

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I believe it is just a social media thing, but there seem to be more and more of them popping up around the US. I would search your area. They all seem to be using “Little Free Gardner/Plant Stand”

    @vickeym we do occasionally have that problem at the plant stands. The value in the social media page is the “owner” of the stand jumps on line to tell everyone what happened and within a short time all of the gardeners will bring more donations. It has been amazing to see all of the support for each other. Because it is free and open to the public it is pretty easy for someone that doesn’t know or care to follow the rules to take all of the supplies that are there.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,503 admin

    @gardneto76 The closest one I could find online in my province is done by a book library, 3 hours away from here.

    In the rural communities in my area, there are enough independent people and they are spaced far enough apart, that I don't see how this would work here. In the cities, however, I could see this being a very good thing if placed strategically.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2022

    This is what I help set up in out one small library, seeds and gardening books. We swap seeds and also encourage bring back saved seeds to add to the bank in the fall. So far we have three fun and free classes we have at the library during the year and plan to have a fall harvest dinner where we bring in a dish to pass, photos of the garden - if we wish and recipes to share - along with seeds. We are building community, gardens and having fun.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    We have a next door but its turned commercial. It was a great idea but handled improperly.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 528 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I grew up very rural and agree it is harder to do this type of stand there, however I also feel rural folks tend to do a better job of sharing and looking out for their neighbors anyway. There was never a designated spot to place extra things, but if we knew someone that needed something and we had extra it was shared. And Vice Versa. We knew most of our neighbors for about 5 miles around, more in some directions.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think this idea would work better in a small town than in a low density rural area.

    Our small town library occasionally has free seeds available. The local seed company donates expired, unsaleable seeds from a year ago, and while germination may be lower they are still quite usable.

    I just germinated some pea seeds I saved from my 2020 garden, and now their in the ground outside.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    I wonder for rural areas if churches to be the place to set one up? Each church could set one up and keep it stocked via donations from members?

    I am going to volunteer over the summer at a community garden near my college and I will see if this is something they would be interested in!

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have helped to set up two seed banks this year at libraries. Its been a fun project plus we have garden classes too and each one will have a fall plant swap. Its also lead to a few garden tours.

    I hope to get one more seed bank set up at a new small business that's only 2 miles away from me. They might also be willing to put in a community garden area.