The “Seed Library” at the Somers Public Library.

SOMERS — The Somers Public Library is providing new experiences and new resources by having a Seed Library. Circulation Supervisor Francie Clark explained, “For our library, it’s a misnomer because although we’re calling it a library, we don’t check out anything and people don’t have anything that they need to return.” She went on to say, “They are donated seeds and purchased discount seeds we put in a repurposed card catalog so people can come and take what they need.”

The card catalog is labeled with a variety of vegetables, fruit, flowers and herb seeds. The library has seed packets from broccoli to daisies, kale, onions, watermelon — everything you can think of — that library goers can look through. Folks are provided with a coin envelope and pour into that envelope how many seeds they would like. Then, they mark it on the library’s clipboard to keep track.

Clark told Reminder Publishing the idea came about fully over time. The first year was a couple of the librarians bringing in seeds they had and letting people take them or put them into a coin envelope which Clark said was not a fancy plan of action.

“There weren’t a lot of patrons who took advantage of it, but those who did were very happy about it,” she added.

Then the library learned about the University of Connecticut extension service. Its Master Gardener Program has seeds that it provides for free to libraries, community gardens and schools. The library was sent a list to choose what they like and if the college had the availability, they would try to provide what the library asked for.

The Somers Public Library was given Burpee seeds for free which Clark believes were donated by Ocean State Job Lot. Separately from that, the library learned about a program through High Mowing Seeds in Vermont that sells its seeds from the previous year at a discount. Last year, the Friends of the Library were the sponsors for it to help them purchase the seeds from High Mowing, along with needed materials to get them started.

This year, the library started the Seed Library in the beginning of March because they had a program to coincide with it called “Container Gardening” which was well received with over 50 people that came.

At the same time, the library made its Seed Library available and since it started, the library has given out seeds to 113 people.

On May 18, the library hosted a plant swap where 15 people stopped by. Clark shared that some brought more than they took, so the library has leftovers if people are still interested in taking some. She added that they plan on having a “crop swap” in the middle of the summer.

“The reward for me is having people tell us as they’re leaving the library with their seeds in their hand, ‘thank you this is so cool,’” said Clark. “They never thought they would come to the library to get seeds, but they can.”

The Seed Library will be available through the summer. The Somers Public Library, 2 Vision Blvd., is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For additional information, visit somerspubliclibrary.org.

Miasha Lee
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