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Seed library returns to Muhlenberg County Public Libraries for third year

Muhlenberg County Public Libraries will soon welcome back one of their popular seasonal services: the seed library, now in its third year.
The seed library opens March 1.
The Muhlenberg County Seed Library is a collaboration between Muhlenberg County Public Libraries and the Muhlenberg County Conservation District.
The seed library is just what you might expect from its name. A selection of garden seeds – mostly vegetables, although there is one flower option this year as well – will be available with a valid Muhlenberg County Public Libraries patron card.
The service, like most others provided by the library, is offered for free, but there is one major difference. Unlike the books, movies and other circulating materials offered by the library, the seeds in the seed library are given away, not loaned. Once chosen, the seeds you take from the seed library are yours to keep, as are the plants that hopefully will grow from them.
β€œWe love being able to offer the seed library each year,” library director Janet Harris said. β€œIt’s just one more way that we can serve our community, help spread some cheer and increase the overall wellbeing of our residents.”
Harris explained that gardening is considered by many professionals to be a healthful outdoor activity, plus the seeds provided will help community residents grow fresh produce for healthy, wholesome meals for themselves and their families. β€œWe want to help people be able to access healthy food,” she said.
Starting March 1, library users may each choose up to 15 packets of seeds to use in their home gardens. Participants can choose their own seeds, according to their individual needs. You can choose all different types or mix and match as needed.
The Muhlenberg County Seed Library includes 15 different varieties of edible plants, plus one floral:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Green pepper
  • Peas
  • Radish (2 varieties)
  • Beans (2 varieties)
  • Tomatoes (2 varieties)
  • Flower mix

Quantities are limited, and seeds will be available on a first come, first served basis. Some varieties are more limited than others, so you will want to visit the seed library early if there is a specific item you hope to take home.
The seed library has grown since its beginning in 2022. Seeds were only available at the Harbin Memorial branch that first year, Harris said, as a trial run to see how things would go with the new service. It was such a success that the seed library expanded to Central City last year, and it will continue to be available at both library branches for 2024. Additionally, the library is increasing the number of available seed varieties this year, up from the 14 available varieties from the previous two years.
This is also the first year the seed library will include flowers, and Harris said the library is interested in expanding those options as well if they prove to be as popular as the vegetables. However, she warned, staff expect the flower seeds to go quickly this year, so anyone interested should visit as soon as possible after the seed library opens to get those seeds.
Some of the seeds available in the seed library are heirloom vegetable varieties, which are very popular in many gardening communities. The library is hosting an heirloom gardening workshop at Thistle Cottage on March 9 to coincide with the opening of the seed library. The event will include a discussion of what heirloom gardening is, along with some popular and/or unusual examples of heirloom plants, and additional heirloom seeds will be provided for participants to plant and take home.
The workshop is free and open to any community member, but space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Like the heirloom gardening workshop, seeds in the seed library are provided for free, but a valid Muhlenberg County Public Library card is required to access the seed library. Library cards are available for free to all Muhlenberg County residents with proof of residence. Property owners and those who work in Muhlenberg County are also eligible for a free library card with appropriate proof, and cards are also available for a $25/year fee for those who do not meet the residency requirements.
For more information about the seed library or other library services, please call Muhlenberg County Public Libraries at 270-338-4760.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Joyce Lydick February 26, 2024, 5:05 pm

    Excited about this. What a great idea! No more Gmo food!!

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