by Julie Andersen, Outreach Librarian Vista Grande Library, City of Casa Grande
When I heard this edition was going to be the annual Home and Garden edition, I was excited.
Because we could feature our amazing Seed Libraries at the Vista Grande and Casa Grande public libraries. The thought of a Seed Library came from one of our library assistants, Gina Ellis, after hearing about Pima County Library having such a library.
Enter, Daniel Dybowski, founder of Isa’s Garden Charities. He brought in a huge box of donated seeds to see if we wanted to start a Seed Library at the Vista Grande Library. With the support of the Library Manager Amber Kent, Gina had started planning how we could get started.
Gina and other library assistants worked tirelessly to organize the seeds in a friendly way to “check them out.” A space was created in the Vista Grande Library to house the seeds and give out gardening information. Patrons could start “checking out” seed packets to take home and start their gardens, from vegetables to herbs and even flowers.
The only thing asked was if they were able to harvest some seeds from their gardens, bring some back to share and keep the donations coming.
What started at Vista Grande, now has been incorporated at the Main Library. Lowes Home Improvement has donated thousands of seed packets to our libraries.
The Pinal County Master Gardener Group also reached out to Gina. The group does free monthly garden presentations for kids and adults. The Kids Gardening program takes place at the Main Library the first Friday of the month from 10 to 10:30 a.m. The Adult Program, although all ages can attend, is held monthly on the second Saturday at the Vista Grande Library from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
To check out seeds, patrons just need a library card from either Casa Grande Library or any Pinal County Library. They can check out up to five seed packets at a time, per card. Again, there is no “returning” seeds, but if you harvest some from your garden, donating them back is appreciated.
Such local garden groups on Facebook as Isa’s Garden Charities, Greater Casa Grande Master Gardeners and Casa Grande Garden Group also are great resources.