Seed Library opening soon at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Leora Siegel —  February 26, 2016 — 2 Comments

Come to the Seed Swap on February 28, and see a demonstration of the Lenhardt Library’s new seed library, set to launch next month.

Seed sharing is a resource for the community, just as libraries are a community resource for books. A seed library is where one may “borrow” seeds to sow, and if successful, harvest, save, and return some to the library for others to borrow the following season. We aim to cultivate an interest in home gardening and seed saving.

PHOTO: Seed packets.Many are familiar with planting seeds, so we’ll focus on seed saving—a less familiar aspect of the food cycle. The Lenhardt Library’s seed library will be geared toward the novice who has little experience with seeds, but all are welcome to participate. We’ll provide horticultural assistance and step-by-step instructions as part of our program.

Seeds in this seed library are primarily heirlooms (varieties that have been in cultivation for 50 years or more), and/or open-pollinated (pollinated by bees or wind), so that the next generation seed retains the identical characteristics of the parent. Seed companies Renee’s Garden and Seed Savers Exchange have generously donated seeds to get us started; tomato, beans, lettuce, and more await you.

In 2015, the Illinois Seed Law was amended, making noncommercial seed libraries such as this one legally exempt from commercial requirements such as testing and labeling. Now we’re ready to get started!

We hope you’ll visit and borrow seeds for your home garden, whether it’s a large plot or a terra cotta pot on a windowsill.

PHOTO: peas.Get more tips for starting seed in our Smart Gardener series, and consider starting some early spring crops.


©2016 Chicago Botanic Garden and my.chicagobotanic.org

Leora Siegel

Posts

Leora Siegel is the senior director of the Lenhardt Library of the Chicago Botanic Garden, where she has worked in various capacities since 2000. She holds master's degrees in Library & Information Science as well as Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

2 responses to Seed Library opening soon at the Chicago Botanic Garden

  1. Will the seed library be open on a regular basis?

    • Hi Connie,
      The Seed Library premiered today, March 1, and will be available on a regular basis through the summer, during Lenhardt Library hours.

      Hours are:
      Monday – Friday, 10am- 4pm
      Tuesday 10am – 6:30pm
      Saturday -Sunday Noon – 4pm
      Weekend hours are extended to 10am -4pm during the Orchid Show.
      Closed on holidays

      You can call us 847-835-8201 to confirm.

      Thanks for asking!
      Leora

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*