Master Gardeners and novice gardeners alike now have a new resource in Fort Wayne since the Little Turtle branch of the Allen County Public Library debuted its seed library Saturday.The seed library is meant to encourage gardeners of all levels to grow their own, organic food at home for no cost. The library will supply seeds to patrons to plant at home and any food resulting from the seeds belongs to the grower. However, the library does ask that gardeners let a few plants continue to seed and that they return those seeds to the library to replenish the supply.
"At other libraries with these types of programs they average around a 25 percent return rate," said Carla Bauman, manager of the Little Turtle branch. "We're certainly hoping to have an increased rate here to help grow our program."
The seeds at the library were provided by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed as well as local Master Gardeners through funds from the Little Turtle Gift Fund. There are a variety of seeds available ranging from fruits and vegetables to flowers.Partnering with the library are a group of avid gardeners from the Food Not Lawns community. Master Gardeners will be giving classes on the fourth Saturday of each month at the Little Turtle branch to familiarize gardeners on how to successfully use the seed library as well as cover other gardening skills such as composting. The library does ask that novice gardeners take at least one class before checking out seeds from the collection.
The Little Turtle branch will also be working with the Hessen Cassel branch, which is home to a gardening club. By working with other branches library officials hope to promote and hopefully expand the seed library.
"This is a way to expand our services, use our space more productively and let residents in the community know we're not just a book warehouse," Bauman said.
WHAT: Seed library
WHERE: Little Turtle branch of the Allen County Public Library, 2201 Sherman Blvd.
WHEN: Normal library hours of 10 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays.
ALSO: A library card is not required to use the seed library.