SeedSmart: Seed Lending Library
Opens Monday, April 7th
Thanks to funding from donations to the Friends of the Mill Valley Library made in memory of Jean Canepa, an avid gardener and active volunteer at the Mill Valley Library, the Library is proud to announce the launch of SeedSmart, Mill Valley's new seed lending library.
SeedSmart encourages community building as users "borrow, grow, and share" open-pollinated, heirloom, and locally adapted seeds. Users will "borrow" seeds of their choosing, picking from varieties such as Scarlet Nantes carrots, Genovese basil, Sweet Chocolate peppers, and more; "grow" the seeds and their knowledge about gardening; and then "share" by returning some of the next-generation seeds and telling us about their seed-growing experiences.
The SeedSmart library is located on the main floor of the Mill Valley Library. Sift through the old-fashioned card catalog to the right of the New Books section, where you'll find seeds for 30 varieties of edibles, herbs, and ornamentals.
Using SeedSmart is simple:
1. Borrow: Select up to six seed packets from the SeedSmart library and check them out with your library card (just like books!).
Browse the seed library or search the Library's online catalog here to see which varieties are available.
On each seed packet you'll find a colored sticker indicating the level of difficulty to save seeds. Packets with a green dot are perfect for beginners, as seeds are easy to save and produce plants like those you planted. Yellow dots indicate medium seed-saving difficulty, while red dots mean that planting the seeds requires some advanced knowledge and special planning, such as isolating plants to prevent cross-pollination.
Those looking to move on to more advanced seed saving can take part in one of the Library's new GardenSmart workshops. The Library will provide learning opportunities throughout the growing season for gardeners of all levels.
In addition to the 30 varieties of edibles, herbs, and ornamentals that will be available upon SeedSmart's launch, Library visitors can also select a limited-edition collection of five seed packets curated in honor of Jean Canepa. The collection, called "Jean's Favorites," includes Romano beans, Stupice tomatoes, Nantes carrots, Romanesco zucchini, and Mache.
2. Grow: Plant the seeds! Learn more by browsing our gardening book collection, attending a GardenSmart workshop, or checking out our SeedSmart website for great online resources.
Upcoming GardenSmart workshops include:
Growing Tomatoes in Mill Valley During a Drought - Wednesday, April 9th, 7pm
From Big to Small, Planting Seeds Can Be Fun - Saturday, April 19th, 1pm
Continue to check our website as more workshops are added.
3. Share: Harvest seeds from a mature plant and return them in the original seed package to the reference desk at the Library. Make sure you fill out a donation form with as much information as possible so the next grower knows what to expect. Tell your stories online.