By Susan Bromley
.-Spring is almost here and the library is ready to help you get your garden growing.
The Brandon Community Seed Library Kick-off is planned for 7-8 p.m., March 15 at the library, 304 South St.
The event is presented by librarian Sara Ault and Eleanor Hucker, a township resident and garden enthusiast. “Get Your Garden Growing” will feature information about gardening, the best plants to grow in this area, as well as free seeds to get you started.
The tomato seeds have been donated by the Seed Savers Exchange, a national group that collects open-pollinated seeds and gives them to local groups.
“There has really been a community movement to save heirloom or open-pollinated seeds that every generation will be the same,” said Ault. “It’s a way to save your own seeds so you don’t have to buy seeds every year and you’re not buying genetically modified or hybrid seeds. It promotes genetic diversity in plants and crops.”
With the Brandon Community Seed Library, patrons will be able to borrow seeds from the library just as they would a book, then grow the seeds over the gardening season. In the fall, it is simply requested that seeds be harvested and returned back to the seed library, although it is understood that seeds may not be returned due to forces that affect crops such as wildlife and weather.
At the “Get Your Garden Growing” event, Hucker will explain the finer details of the seed library.
“Using transplants has its place and I do use them, but I want to get back to taking a seed and reliably growing it for sustainability,” she said. “That way, I know the seed I have grown, where it came from and how well it does.”
Hucker notes that seeds bought from seed catalogs are not always the best for this area. She hopes to develop seed stock adapted to local soils and weather conditions.
She hopes to encourage her neighbors to garden and notes that there are many seeds that are easy to cultivate, including beans, peas and tomatoes. For gardeners that are experienced and looking for a challenge, she may provide seeds for more difficult bi-annual plants like carrots.
“Don’t be afraid to try it, it’s not as daunting as it seems,” said Hucker. “We’ll have all sorts of reference materials available and we hope to develop a network of gardeners who can mentor new people… Most people don’t start seeds until the end of March, beginning of April. We will also have a cheat sheet for when to start things inside. Even if you are not confident to save seeds right away, we can get you started in gardening.”