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From Shelf to Soil: Wickson Launches First Seed Library

Happy first week of Spring! The first brave daffodils have popped, and all around town bright yellow clusters invite a welcome and vibrant change to the quintessential dreariness of winter. Here at the Wickson Library, exciting change is unfolding too.


The library reopened its doors on Friday, March 15 after a two week renovation period. The next time you’re in, you’ll likely notice that the staff work area has been expanded to accommodate more much-needed desk space. You might also notice the arrival of Wickson’s very first seed library!


A seed library is an institution that lends or shares seeds with its community. Put in simple terms, a seed library is a place that allows patrons to “check out” seeds in the same way they’d check out a library book. People are allowed (and encouraged!) to take and grow the seeds at no cost.


There are many benefits of seed libraries, including no-cost planting, resource sharing, and putting to good use with many families what might go to waste with one family. Seed libraries also provide beauty and sustenance, benefit pollinators, and encourage a community of growers and planters, thus connecting people more deeply with the seed to salad plate process.


As of April 2023, there were 130 active seed libraries in Michigan and around 600 nationwide, according to Bevin Cohen, creator of the Michigan Seed Library Network, a connection tool to promote and develop seed libraries.


As someone who is completely new to gardening and planning to start my first garden this spring, it’s exciting to consider what fruits and vegetables we’re planning to grow. Loren is set on sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes, whereas Kai is requesting watermelons. And while we don’t have the entire garden mapped out just yet, it’s exciting to stand in front of the seed library and dream about the possibilities.


In a few weeks, we’ll try our hand at planting sunflowers! On April 1, 2024, patrons can pick up free sunflower seeds at Wickson and join our sunflower growing contest. Michelle Duclos may have told me that the largest sunflower she’s ever grown, with expert help from her son Justin, was twelve feet tall! Hard to imagine needing a ladder to measure the height of our sunflowers, but we’re excited to see what’s possible.


Cicero once said, “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” We couldn’t agree more. Whether you’re mapping out and planning what to plant in your summer garden, plotting the perfect spot for your record-breaking sunflower, or simply looking for a good book to enjoy this spring, the library is the perfect place to begin.



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