Seed program hopes to spur growth in Livonia

Provided Photo: A new seed library is hoping to spur growth in Livonia. For the first time the Livonia Library has created a seed library. People of all ages no matter if they are a member of the library or not can take some seeds for free.

LIVONIA – From peas to peppers the spur of growth is happening at the Livonia Public Library.

“The seed lbrary started a few weeks ago,” said Livonia Library Director Frank Sykes.

Much like checking out a book, people can come into the library at 2 Washington St. and take any type of seeds that they might need or want.

“They are mostly vegetable and flower seeds, that people can not really check out like a book but take what they want. The whole idea is to get people engaged and interested in doing gardening on their own,” said Sykes.

They are also hoping it will help some residents eat more healthy foods.

“We are hoping it will also help to promote healthy lifestyles,” said Sykes.

The seed library was started by Livonia resident Cindy Casaceli, an avid gardener for more than 30 years. Casaceli saw the seed library as a way to share her passion with others.

With support from Sykes and library staff, the seed library took shape including a process for patrons to check out seeds from a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers. Patrons are also provided educational materials on how to grow and harvest the seeds

Casaceli got the program started thanks to a donation of seed from Seed Savers Exchange (seedsavers.org), a non-for-profit organization that houses the nation’s largest non-governmental seed bank of its kind.

“You don’t need to live in the area and their are no restrictions. The goal is to encourage people to do these things on their own,” said Sykes.

Available seeds include cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower and more. You don’t have to be a member of the library to take them or even live in Livonia. The only thing required is to have an interest in gardening.

“The ultimate goal for the seed library is that people will eventually learn how to harvest seeds on their own,” said Sykes. “They plant these seeds, then they grow the vegetable or flower and then they harvest the seed at the end of the season.”

There is also no limit on what kinds of seeds people can take though the library is asking people to limit themselves to two packages per person or about 10 to 20 seeds each.

“Some people would probably take hand fulls if they were offered, so we just want to make sure that everyone can participate. It has been going well and people are really understanding,” said Sykes.

In addition to encouraging new growth, the program also seeks to offer a sense of accomplishment for people taking part in the program.

“I think with anything – if you built a dog house or you paint something, you started with nothing and now you have this creation. I think there is always a sense of accomplishment, especially with gardening because it takes patience,” said Sykes.

As the seed library grows, its creators are hoping to also include gardening classes as part of the program.

“We are hoping to have it year round. It is really an individual thing right now. We will be offering different gardening classes in the summer,” said Sykes.

Also planned is the creation of a community garden at the library. That project in the very early stages, said Sykes.

“We have all these people in the community that have all of this knowledge and we would like to use that,” said Sykes.

For more information on the upcoming garden classes or the seed program, people can visit the library’s website at www.livonialibrary.org.

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