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Oakville Public Library introduces OPL Seed Library

May 5, 2017

Last week, Oakville Public Library (OPL) launched a new and exciting ‘green’ collection – the OPL Seed Library. Currently housed at the Clearview Branch, the OPL Seed Library offers a wide selection of organic seeds that customers can borrow to plant and grow in their own backyards.

With planting season upon us, those looking to start or enhance their gardens will benefit from the opportunity to borrow from the Seed Library, completely free of charge. Once their plants have matured, borrowers will harvest their plant’s seeds and return them back to the library, allowing more customers to partake in and experience the pleasures of gardening.

The Seed Library carries seeds for a variety of plants, including eggplant, squash, lettuce, tomatoes, and lavender. Through returns and donations, the collection will continue to grow to hold more seeds, including seeds for plants not currently in the collection.

“This new library initiative acts as a community project that promotes healthy and sustainable living, as well as encourages a culture of sharing,” says Lisa Williams, Manager – Collections. “It’s a great way to bring our community closer together.”

The Seed Library was established from a very generous donation made by avid Oakville Public Library supporters, Richard and Barbara Birkett. Mr. Birkett has been a long-time donor, was a former board member, and has volunteered with the library over the past 35 years.

“Throughout the ages, planting a garden has always been one of life’s greatest pleasures,” says Mr. Birkett.  “Growing plants from seeds takes one to a new level of delight.”

Chicago-based company, Ball Seed, also contributed to the OPL Seed Library by graciously donating the first installment of seeds.

Customers are excited about this new collection and have already started to take advantage by borrowing seeds. In less than one week, the library had to restock seeds for lavender, basil, and tomato.

In the near future, the OPL Seed Library will make its way into other library branches. The library’s Woodside Branch will be the next location to receive a collection, which will launch on May 8, 2017.

In an attempt to expand the current selection, the library is also accepting seed donations. Those who are interested in contributing to the Seed Library’s collection can donate open-pollinated and heirloom seeds by dropping them off at the Clearview Branch.

To avoid cross-pollination and the creation of invasive plants, OPL cannot accept hybrid seeds. If you are interested in donating seeds from your own garden but are unsure of their type, we encourage you to visit your local greenhouse or garden store for more information.

The OPL Seed Library is a very exciting initiative that we are proud to share with the Oakville community. We encourage our participants to share the story of their experience with us by sending updates and photos to oplreference@oakville.ca.


A version of this article was originally published in the Oakville Beaver on May 5, 2017.