New Public Seed Library to Open March 2023
Organizers currently seeking donations of commercial seed packets “Packed for 2022”
The Benton County Master Gardeners and the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition have partnered to launch a new Public Seed Library. The free, volunteer-run Public Seed Library is expected to open at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library’s downtown location by March ‘23. The Public Seed Library will be available to everyone who visits the Corvallis Public Library, for their personal use, regardless of whether they have a library card. The program is intended to support both new and experienced home gardeners.
“This is a natural opportunity to collaborate to benefit so many, so easily!” said Jill Farrow, who is a member of both organizations. “The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Food Action Team organizes many projects to support home gardening and local food consumption, including the annual Edible Garden Tour and updated Corvallis Garden Resource Guide, as well as monthly gardening educational outreach through the Neighborhood Planters Kiosks. The Benton County Master Gardeners provide popular seasonal ‘Seed to Supper’ courses. The new Public Seed Library leverages the strengths of these two community volunteer organizations.”
The Public Seed Library will be stocked exclusively with donated vegetable, herb, and flower commercial seed packets “Packed for 2022.” The goal is to create a seed-sharing library to share sustenance with a pay-it-forward philosophy: give what you can, and receive seeds and garden knowledge on how to plan a garden, grow vegetables, and companion herbs and flowers for pollinators and other beneficial bugs. The Public Seed Library will be so much more than seeds. As the educational partner, Benton County Master Gardeners will offer vegetable garden planning and growing lectures, and staff pop-up ‘Ask an Expert’ Plant Clinic help desks at the Corvallis Public Library next spring and summer.
Corvallis has an active gardening community, and three amazing family-owned retail nurseries that support local school gardens, community gardening, and natural area conservation groups. There’s a lot of programming support for people who are looking to start gardening or grow more of their own food. “The Public Seed Library will benefit all: current gardeners who will have free access to a broader variety of seeds, future gardeners, and the environment too,” Farrow says.
How to get involved:
The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition is looking for volunteers to collect donated seeds, and help organize seed packets to stock the new Public Seed Library. If you’re an individual interested in volunteering please contact the Food Action Team.
If you have a business and your company is interested in making a tax-deductible donation of commercial seed packets, please connect with the Food Action Team here.
If you are a home gardener, please consider donating new or open and partially used commercial seed packets “Packed for 2022”. Donations from the general public will be collected from mid-December through January ’23 at two drop-off donation sites:
● Benton County Master Gardener’s OSU Extension Office at 4077 SW Research Way
● Corvallis Public Library at 645 NW Monroe Avenue, inside at the Librarian’s Desk
Look for future updates on the Public Seed Library project on the Benton County Master Gardener and Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s Food Action Team websites. A new Instagram account is coming soon. For questions about the project, contact the Food Action Team here.