Library plants the seed for new program

  • The Jaffrey Public Library has linked up with national nonprofit Seed Savers to create a seed library for its patrons. Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, April 17, 2017 11:31PM

The Jaffrey Public Library’s newest endeavor will ask its patrons to check out items that will hopefully never be checked back in.

This Saturday, the library will have a soft opening for its seed lending library, a program that will allow townspeople to check out heirloom seeds from the library in the hopes of creating an atmosphere where community members are growing heirloom plants and sharing their seeds with others.

“The idea is to save, preserve, and share heirloom seeds in the community,” said Jaffrey Public Library Director Julie Perrin, in a phone interview Monday. “It’s an important initiative for the environment because it supports sustainability and helps to propagate heirloom seeds.”

The library is encouraging people to stop by between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday to plant a seed at the library and learn more about the budding program. 

The seed lending library in Jaffrey is able to start because a contribution from the Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit organization that “conserve[s] and promote[s] America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants,” according to the its mission statement.

Perrin said the non-profit has sent the library a large box containing 100 packets of different varieties of heirloom seeds, as well as planting guides and other materials to help those taking the seeds. 

Children’s Librarian Andrea Connolly gets credit for filling out the application and helping to start the program, according to Perrin. 

“Seed lending library programs are nothing new, they’ve been happening for at least five years,” said Perrin. “We started talking about doing one and Andrea did all the research and filled the application out.”

Outside of the soft open on Earth Day, the library will also host a formal opening for the library seed swap on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. 

Perrin said that Roger Swain, the former host of The Victory Garden on PBS who has a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University, will be in attendance to talk about weeds, seeds, and planting, and will bring some of his own seeds to share. 

Perrin said the library will be checking out seeds through people’s library accounts as a way to track usage of the seeds. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.