Haliburton in Transition (HINT) and Harvest Haliburton have partnered with the Haliburton County Public Library to bring a seed lending library to the residents of Haliburton County. At the seed library, patrons can check out seeds for free. They then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds, and “return” some of those seeds so the library can lend them out to others.
“There’s an avid and growing community of growers in the county and the logical next step for those people is to learn to save seeds and pool their knowledge for the benefit of all growers in the county. We want to develop a seed stock suited to our soils and climate and we want to be certain we’ll have an inventory of seeds suited to our scale of growing,” says Langdon. Proprietary hybrids and genetically modified seed tailored to industrial agriculture dominate the industry to the detriment of heirloom seeds. For centuries people saved their own seed and we’ve got to learn the simple rules of how it’s done and do it again,” says Langdon.
“We were intrigued by this project – the free service and the community collaboration aspects fall within our purview, says Sue Robinson, staff member responsible for community partnerships at the HCPL. She adds, “A quick internet search revealed a number of seed libraries in Canada and the U.S. After speaking with our counterparts at the Grimsby Public Library who run a successful project there, we needed no more convincing to come on board.”
There’s an educational component to the project as well. Three workshops are planned for July and August. The first workshop on Thurs. July 25th at 6 pm will discuss how to save the ‘easy’ seeds such as herb and flower seeds that are ripening now. The 2nd workshop on Monday, Aug. 12 at 6pm will discuss the three ways to save tomato seeds. The 3rd workshop on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 6pm will consider how to save ‘difficult’ seeds such as squash and cucumber. Community strategies of growing and sharing the harvest to maintain the purity of seed will also be discussed at this advanced workshop. All events will take place at the Haliburton Branch of the Haliburton County Public Library.
Experienced seed savers in the county are encouraged to contact the organizers and offer their help in developing a community of learners and seed savers. Anyone with seeds to donate is also encouraged to drop them off at the library. Anje Hilker has already donated some seed including the locally famous Citron Melon seeds that were grown decades ago in Stanhope. They were found in an old tin in a farm building.
For more information, contact:
Sue Robinson, Community Partnerships & Administration, Haliburton County Public Library
Phone: 705 457 2241; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Langdon, Haliburton in Transition (HINT)
Phone: 705 286-3966; Email: email@example.com