Green thumbs are being encouraged to expand their gardens as part of a new initiative by Newcastle Libraries.
Starting at Wallsend Library, a seed library will be trialled, where members can ‘borrow’ seeds to plant in their own gardens.
They’re then encouraged to return seeds from their own harvest, to re-stock and expand the collection.
Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the Newcastle Seed Library was an innovative community partnership project that would continue to grow as more people become involved.
“Gardening is a fantastic pastime with many benefits for your physical and mental health and wellbeing,” Cr Clausen said.
“Growing your own vegetables is also a fantastic way to teach children about the life cycle of plants, while learning new seed-saving skills yourself.
“The best thing is you don’t need a huge amount of space to get started, with many of the plants able to be grown in pots.
“City of Newcastle already has for years been collaborating with residents to successfully establish community gardens throughout the local government area.
“The Seed Library initiative takes that support one step further by offering free, easy to grow seeds that locals can take and plant in their own gardens.”
The Newcastle Seed Library will start with certified organic varieties including basil, tomato, zucchini, pumpkin and bush bean.
Manager Libraries and Learning Suzie Gately said residents were encouraged to stay involved beyond their initial library ‘loan.’
“Our motto is ‘borrow and grow, harvest and share’,” Ms Gately said.
“Newcastle Libraries members are invited to take home the free seeds for their garden, grow and return the same variety after harvest, and add other varieties of seeds to the library too.
“Sharing seeds through the Newcastle Seed Library will help preserve rare, tasty and historical varieties for gardeners in our community, while the return of successful seeds will allow us to develop a collection adapted to local conditions.”
The Seed Library is being piloted at Wallsend Library from today (Tuesday 6 October), with additional branches to potentially be added depending on demand.
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