Newton Falls opts for seed library

NEWTON FALLS – An antique card catalog is finding a new life full of seeds at the Newton Falls Public Library.

The library recently launched a “seed library” from which patrons can check out heirloom seeds to plant in their gardens.

While there are no due dates to return the seeds, youth librarian Chrissy Braun said the library hopes that patrons will harvest seeds from their crops during the fall to replenish the stocks.

“Seed libraries are popping up at public libraries all around the county,” she said.

The original idea was sparked by a National Public Radio segment on the concept and was brought to fruition with the help of several volunteers and middle-schoolers in the Portage-based Pioneer Girlz organization.

“The girls purchased some of the seeds and spent a lot of time packaging the seeds,” Braun said.

Nicki Freborg, founder of Pioneer Girlz, said the students were able to learn valuable skills about planting and harvesting.

“We’re dedicated to providing today’s girls with the skills of yesterday,” she said.

The not-for-profit organization has about 130 members, including children from pre-kindergarten to high school and their parents. The girls will also be helping with the seed harvest in the fall. More seeds in the original collection were harvested by other volunteers.

So far, the library is offering 18 seed varieties, mostly tomatoes, with some other vegetables and herbs. Braun said there will be more seeds to check out closer to the summer, but the seeds there now should be started indoors before being transferred outside later.

Patrons must have a Clevnet library card to check out seeds.