by Julia Baratta
The Lucille E. Dearth Union Township Branch of the Branch District Library (BDL) opened the Roots and Shoots Seed Library on Saturday, March 14 with free seed packets, giveaways, refreshments, and the sharing of additional resources to assist with gardens in the Union City area.
Seed libraries are not new in the BDL system as the Coldwater Branch opened theirs on March 3, kicking off the garden season. The Union Township Branch added their version of the popular offering with over 1200 packets available to choose from.
"I love that you (Union Branch) are doing this," Donna Claar said. "People will really appreciate that there are seeds available."
Claar, along with numerous other participants, chose from vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs with a number of varieties of each one. By the end of the day, approximately 250 packets were given away with the intention of possibly sharing seeds at the end of the season. One of the aspects of the seed library is the promotion of sustainability. Each recipient is encouraged to save seeds from their plants to harvest for the seed library but it isn't a requirement. All of the seeds offered at the Roots and Shoots Seed Library are open-pollinated, pure seeds meaning that the seeds saved will be true to the original plant when planted the next season.
Those who took advantage of the free seeds also received a free starting tray donated by the Coldwater Garden Club. Gardening journals and pens were appreciated as the participants perused a "catalog" of seed packets describing the various seeds, plants, and produce. Rare and unusual types of vegetables and fruits were offered as well as heirloom flowers and herbs making the decision making very hard for the patrons.
"This is an opportunity for us to try something new as the packets are more like samples than full packages of seeds," Margaret Sies said as she pulled a Red Russian Kale seed packet. "We are going to try Amaranth this year."
Libraries are known for providing resources for pursuing interests and the Union Branch is no exception. A list containing book titles, magazine suggestions, and seed companies is available for those looking for inspiration and additional ideas for their gardens.
As of June 13, 2020, the Branch District Library system in on Stage 4 of their plan to re-open their buildings. This includes:
*Curbside pickup for library items. (reserve items online or call a library branch).
*Library items can be returned to outside drop boxes.
*Programs and materials are available at their "Digital Branch"
*The library remains closed to the public.
To stay up to date on the library current availability please visit www.branchdistrictlibrary.org/node/2661