• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

‘Seed Library’ opens in Versailles and Midway today

A SEED LIBRARY features many varieties of high-quality, free seeds at the Woodford County Library and Midway Branch Library. The seed giveaway encourages gardening, being outside and growing your own vegetables, said adult services librarian Emily Saderholm. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Residents in the community are being invited to pick up free vegetable seeds at the Woodford County Library in Versailles and Midway Branch Library starting today, Thursday, March 21. The Seed Library is an effort to encourage gardening, being outside and growing your own vegetables, said adult services librarian Emily Saderholm. “Also,” she added, “it encourages them to explore new varieties of food... “Many libraries across the country are doing this now to try to help people learn more about their local environment and self-efficiency.” She noted that people do not need a library card to pick up free seeds (up to 10 varieties per household) at the second-floor reference desk at the Woodford County Library or the main desk at the Midway Branch Library. People will learn simple methods to start vegetables from seed during a special program at the Midway Branch Library, 400 Northside Drive, to kick off the Seed Library’s opening this evening at 6:30. To sign up for the free “Seed Starting” program, visit the library’s website at woodfordcountylibrary.com or call the Midway Branch at 846-4014. Everyone participating in the program will receive free seeds to take home. “That (a seed giveaway) encourages people to have backyard gardens,” said Faye Kuosman, University of Kentucky Extension agent for horticulture in Woodford County, who will share her knowledge with participants of the library program. She said an important part of her work as horticulture agent is educating people in the community on gardening practices and techniques, including how to start a garden using seeds to support healthier eating habits. “We have variety recommendations (for this area), and then of course our time to plant (seeds) is very different from other places,” said Kuosman. The Woodford County Library purchased 20 different varieties of seeds for its Seed Library a year ago, and was able to double its seed inventory this year (with 44 varieties) by being a part of a consortium with five other area libraries, Saderholm said. Beets, broccoli, sweet corn, several varieties of squash, herbs and flowers, and “just about anything you can think of” will be available at the Seed Library, she said. Clark County’s public library Director Julie Maruskin, who’s coordinating the library consortium and started an heirloom tomato program several years ago, made it possible for the Woodford County and Midway Branch libraries to receive a large variety of high-quality organic and heirloom tomato seeds, Saderholm said. Tomatoes are one example of a seed that needs to start its growth indoors before being moved to an outdoor garden, according to Kuosman. Kuosman noted that a container gardening class will be offered at the Extension Service April 18 for residents who don’t have space for backyard gardens. They will learn what varieties grow best in that environment during the free class, which is limited to 25 participants, she added.

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