Seed Library Launches Community Engagement, Growing and Conservation

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Caledon Seed LibrarySpring has finally sprung, and the Town of Caledon is ready to get growing.

Last month, on April 21, the Caledon Seed Library was launched during the Caledon Spring Home Show to great enthusiasm.

Over 200 people dropped in to the launch, which already had a collection of 569 seed packets — so far, 132 have been checked out by the community.

Caledon’s Seed Library has come to fruition through a partnership between the Caledon Public Library, Albion Hills Community Farm, and the Bolton & District Horticultural Society (BDHS), whose theme for 2018 is ‘from Seed to Table.’

“We are excited to be working with the Caledon Public Library on the creation and launch of the new seed library,” Carol Good, Board Member of the BDHS, tells us. “Access to a local seed library has many benefits including an inexpensive way to learn about growing your own food, a satisfying way to improve your nutrition and, of course, the pleasure of playing in the dirt.”

Laura Nolloth, Communications & Community Development with Caledon Public Library, tells us that although the official launch was just last month, a ‘seed’ for the program was first planted in the fall of last year, when the library offered a community seed saving workshop facilitated by Albion Hills Community Farm.

During the workshop, a call-out was made to the community asking residents to donate seeds from their gardens; the seed donations came rolling in over the winter.Caledon Seed Cabinet

To complement the seed donations, members of the BDHS are volunteering their time to plant and maintain a garden bed on the Albion Bolton Community Centre property. The Town of Caledon’s Parks & Rec department have offered the space for the garden.

A variety of plants will be grown in the garden for their seeds, which will then be donated back to the Seed Library.

The seed cabinet lives at the Albion Bolton Branch.

The Caledon Seed Library brochure shares the following on why seed saving is a smart idea:

  • Help create a culture of sharing and abundance within the community
  • Preserve seed lineages
  • Support local food and steward the region’s biodiversity
  • Save money by growing your own food
  • Sustain the rich agricultural heritage Caledon and the surrounding areas have been developing for over 150 years
  • Fun for the whole family

The brochure also has information on how to borrow and return seeds.

Laura explains it’s all about conservation, preservation, community participation and engagement.

“The Caledon Seed Library preserves plant varieties through distributing, growing, nurturing, harvesting and re-sharing of seeds,” Laura says. “Caledon Seed Library encourages the preservation by collecting local and heirloom varieties that might otherwise be lost.”

CaledonSeedLibraryLaunch“In theory,” she adds, “seed libraries will also promote local agriculture over time, by growing local seeds that are adapted to the region.”

Seed libraries are indeed a spectacular way to nurture and conserve healthy ecosystems, encourage growing, and foster community engagement, which is probably why they’ve been sprouting up all across the Golden Horseshoe and beyond.

To just name a few (and let us know if you’d like your area’s seed library added to the list):

✲ Burlington
✲ Grimsby
✲ Hamilton
✲ Newmarket
✲ Oakville
✲ Orangeville
✲ Port Credit
✲ Richmond Hill
✲ Toronto