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Sowing the seeds at new library


An exciting partnership in Maitland will promote mental health, save food cultures, and celebrate seasonality.

The new Maitland Seed Library – the first of its kind in the city – is an initiative formed by Maitland City Library and Slow Food Hunter Valley.

Seeds can be borrowed, planted and enjoyed.

The idea is to leave a portion of the crop to go to seed, harvest and dry the seeds, returning them to the seed library for others to borrow and to grow.

The initiative was set to launch at last month’s Maitland Taste, but organisers were forced to cancel the event.

However, Maitland City Library has announced the seeds are now available through its Click and Collect service.

Manager of Galleries and Libraries, Keryl Collard, said it was pleasing to connect people in the community to local experts and resources.

“Gardening has many mental health benefits that can help everyone get through this period of isolation whilst also contributing to the preservation of seeds and encouraging locally resilient seed stocks,” she said.

Carrots, turnips, beetroot, peas, garlic and swedes are in the first selection of seeds available from the new library.

Co-partner, Slow Food Hunter Valley, is a group of volunteers who seek to protect taste, flavour and biodiversity through local projects, campaigns, community engagement, and educational programs.

Slow Food Hunter Valley Leader, Anne Kelly, said the gift of seeds in exchange for a deposit of seeds from the crop at the end of the season completed the cycle.

“It reinforces Slow Food’s work in saving food cultures, celebrating seasonality, and maintaining biodiversity,” she said.

Apart from seeds, books on gardening, plant care, preserves, and cooking with fruit and vegetables are also available via the Click and Collect service.

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