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By Megan Lee, Library Director

A public library’s purpose is to provide access and be a resource to the community and its citizens. That’s why, at Fred A. Vaught Memorial Library, we have started a seed library.

Our mission is to provide a location suitable for storing the seeds and lending them similarly to the way we lend books. Members can take seeds for free and plant, tend and harvest their crops. They, they return some of the seeds from the yield to the library to be stores and made available for members to plant next season. It’s just that simple!

Photo courtesy of Fred A. Vaught Memorial Library

The goal of the seed library is to disseminate rare, local and heirloom seeds to the community. Seeds are donated by other gardeners who want to keep the cycle of sharing going. Seed sharing and swapping have been common since before ‘Big Agriculture’ and farmers kept seeds from year to year to swap and trade with other farmers.

Heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables have more flavor and character. This makes them the most popular and sought-after seeds. As we are more organically and environmentally aware today, it’s important to introduce these varieties into our community, our own gardens and onto our tables. This is a critical step towards creating a more sustainable food system. That’s why there are more seed libraries being started.

A person doesn’t have to have a big farm or a lot of land to grow their own food. A small area or even some flowerpots can be perfect to grow and harvest organic produce. Why buy imported food, when we have the access and ability to grow and make our own? And it starts here at Fred A. Vaught Memorial Library!

Through our outreach program, we would like to partner with other local and state programs that are already established in Trousdale County, and we’re eager to provide any help that we can. Community gardens, farmers’ markets and side-of-the-road produce stands are being seen more every year. That’s just proof that a seed library would be beneficial to our county and the citizens living here.