NSW council’s seed library is growing

A council initiative encouraging its community to share garden seeds has been well received with the collection growing in size.

The Newcastle Seed Library, which began in October last year, has received a lot of seed donations from the community and now has a wide variety of seeds.

When the initiative launched, the seeds available were basil, tomato, zucchini, pumpkin and bush bean.

Now, the community has donated seeds for flat leaf parsley, marigold, Madagascar lima bean, loofah, sunflower, mixed lettuce and poppy. 

Popular lockdown activity

Suzie Gately, City of Newcastle Manager of Libraries & Learning, said over 1,200 seed packets have been borrowed since the seed library first opened.

“Gardening has become a popular pastime throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, with vegetable gardens flourishing in the backyards of homes throughout the nation,” she said in a statement. 

“Locals have embraced the opportunity to borrow seeds for free, teach children about the life cycle of plants and learn how to save seeds.”

The Newcastle Libraries website has tutorials on growing produce and flowers from seeds and free workshops will be available in the summer on native bees and natural pest control.

“There are so many benefits to gardening, including improved health and wellbeing, and the opportunity to live more sustainably by eating fresh produce straight from your own garden,” Ms Gately said.

“While sometimes growing from seed doesn’t go as planned, we encourage borrowers to donate seeds back, which will ensure the continued growth of the Seed Library with a collection of varieties that have adapted to local conditions.” 

The seed library was launched through an innovative community partnership with Newcastle Libraries.

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