New Gardener Support Programs

Because of Covid-19 precautions at Charlotte Library, we will not be distributing heirloom seeds this spring. But we will still offer regular Gardener Support programs this year, and plenty of on-line information which we hope will support and encourage local food producers like yourselves.

Right now more people than ever are itching to get their hands in the ground and start tending a garden, — because they know what good medicine that is for both body and spirit. At the same time, Covid-19 disruptions to common supply chains means that seeds are not as easily available from usual sources. To help address this situation, we decided to facilitate the sharing of seeds and seedlings among Charlotte home gardeners. We are excited to start off the 2020 growing season with the following three brand new programs…….and we hope you will jump right in!

COMMUNITY SEED SHARING

Here’s how it works: Once you have planned out your own garden and organized the seeds you need, you are invited to share extra seeds you may have with fellow gardeners in the community. This is an easy way to help others start/expand/improve their gardens. The emphasis is on vegetables, –but herbs, and edible or pollinator-friendly flower seeds are also welcome. To offer seeds, please use this 2020 Seed Sharing form link to provide your contact information and basic information that will be useful to a future grower of your seeds. This will be entered into a password-protected 2020 Seed Sharing database. Then, starting in early May, Charlotters seeking seeds will be able to request a password from us (seed@charlottepubliclibrary.org) and view the database. To receive seeds they select, they will contact providers directly and make a mutually-convenient and safe arrangement to transfer them. We hope this will be an easy and fun way to share not only seeds, but also strengthen local gardener networks.

Please offer extra seeds as soon as you can, so we can open the database by mid-May to those seeking seeds.

SEEDLINGS TO SHARE

This new Seed Library program asks those who can, to plant a few (or a lot of!) extra seeds in their sunny windows or under grow lights now in April, in order to share the resulting eager seedlings with the community in late May/early June when they are ready to go into the ground. In mid-May we will open a password protected 2020 Seedlings to Share database similar to the Seed Sharing database for you to register how many of what seedlings you can offer, and by the end of May this will be opened (via a password from us) to community members seeking planting material. The emphasis is on vegetables, but herbs, and edible or pollinator-friendly flowers are also welcome.

As with the Community Seed Sharing program, we hope Seedlings to Share will encourage everyone who wants to, to grow at least some of their own food, and help others do the same.

ADOPT AN HEIRLOOM

Help the Seed Library maintain a stock of diverse and popular heirloom vegetable, herb, and edible or pollinator-friendly flower seeds to make available in the community next year. Choose something from the Seed Library or use one (or two, or three?) special favorites you grow already and can save their seeds. Interested in becoming a Seed Library Steward by Adopting an Heirloom to grow this year? Contact Karen Tuininga (Seed@charlottepubliclibrary.org) for program details, and guidelines for growing heirlooms to avoid cross-pollination, and for seed-saving tips.

Please consider supporting us in this very helpful way by becoming a Seed Library Steward.

Thanks, and happy gardening!

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