A growing idea at the library

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Chelsie Abraham, manager of public services at the Chatham-Kent Public Library, shows off packets of seeds available for lending. More than 50 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and fruits are available to be “loaned.”
Chelsie Abraham, manager of public services at the Chatham-Kent Public Library, shows off packets of seeds available for lending. More than 50 varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and fruits are available to be “loaned.”

Local residents will be able to grow more than just their brains at the Chatham-Kent Public Library thanks to a seed-lending project just getting started.

Chelsie Abraham, manager of public services at the library, said seeds from more than 50 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs are available to be ‘loaned.’

“We’re in the early stages of the program but we’ve already had strong interest from groups such as the Chatham Horticultural Society which has provided us with seeds,” she said.

Nativscape, a Wallaceburg group has donated a variety of wildflower seeds to attract insects to gardens for pollination.

“Queen Elizabeth II Public School is going to donate 30 different seed varieties,” she said.

Abraham said those using the program will have the opportunity to grow affordable, healthy food.

“All it takes is some seed, some space and the effort,” she said.

Although seeds gained from this year’s plants don’t have to be returned, the library is hoping many participants will do just that.

“If we can get a really healthy exchange of seeds going it will make the project that much better and perhaps it can be expanded to branches throughout the municipality,” she said.

Using the program is as simple as bringing in your library card and checking out some seeds,

“We’re placing some limits on amounts of seeds because we want as many people as possible to be able to participate,” she said.

The seed-lending program has proven popular at other libraries across Canada and the United States and was actually suggested by a local member.

It’s part of the library’s month-long gardening initiatives that include classes in various subjects from container gardening to rain gardening.

For more information on library programs, visit the library’s website at:

chatham-kent.ca/PublicLibraries/Pages/Home.aspx.

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