Goldfields Libraries give two green thumbs up to seed sharing initiative.

May 3, 2024 | community, projects, sustainability

At a time when our communities are feeling the financial crunch of high interest rates, a rising cost of living, and environmental challenges like floods, Seed Library programs are providing cost-savings and health benefits to Goldfields Libraries patrons.

As stated in our Strategic Plan 2021-25, contributing to A Sustainable Future is a key organisational priority for Goldfields Library Corporation – a decision that arose after extensive community consultation and our ambition to align our influence and impact with the needs and wants of the people we serve.

So, when the opportunity presented to partner with local organisations and volunteers to help support the Seed Library initiative, we embraced it wholeheartedly.

Planting the seed

A local Castlemaine patron hatched the idea for a Seed Library in 2016. Word and enthusiasm spread across the region, slowly expanding the program to Eaglehawk, Kangaroo Flat, Kyneton, Romsey and Woodend.

What is a seed library?

Much like a traditional library, the Seed Library allows patrons to borrow from the collection. Instructions on how, when, and where to plant the seeds are provided; growers then nurture and eventually enjoy the produce. By allowing the plants to flower, the seeds can be collected and returned to the library for the next person or family to plant. 

Enjoying the fruits of their labours

This cyclical process, while so simple in principle, is proving to be a hugely rewarding activity for patrons. Beyond the practicalities of putting food on the table, they experience physical exercise, mental engagement, and social benefits from participating in the community program.

There is also an educational element to the library, with participants learning about the types of plants that grow well locally while picking up general gardening tips and techniques. Some library branches host volunteer-led workshops for novice gardeners.

Growers can feel good about minimising their consumption of plastic-wrapped produce grown with chemical fertilisers (unless organic) while also reducing the cost to their hip pocket and the environment.

Taking small but impactful steps along the path to a more sustainable future is incredibly empowering for participants, and a process Goldfields Libraries are proud to put our support behind.

 

sunflower and library staff member

Acknowledgments

The Seed Library is a fantastic example of communities supporting one another. While Goldfields Libraries provide accessible spaces to house the seed stations and group meet-ups, this truly is a volunteer-run program – locals helping locals. We’d like to thank every volunteer for contributing to the initiative and the library patrons who keep the growing cycle moving from one season to the next.

 

With thanks to:
Castlemaine Seed Library
Macedon Ranges Seed Savers
Bunnings Warehouse Community Assistance Program

 More information on the program can be found on the Goldfields Libraries website: ncgrl.vic.gov.au/seedlibraries

 

MEDIA RELEASE ENDS

 Media Contact:  Melissa Marriner, phone 03 5449 2755, email melissam@ncgrl.vic.gov.au

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