Libraries are known for planting seeds – of wonder, of curiosity, of passion – but not always so literally as at the Bowen Island Public Library.
The local book haven is now also the home of the Bowen Island Seed Library.
During the great gardening boom of 2020, several local initiatives sprouted.
Jillian Rushton started the Bowen Gardeners Facebook group, a lively resource for Bowen Islanders to learn and share how to grow plants on Bowen. Questions posed (and answered) range from whether certain plants are deer proof to whether praying mantises are good bug control (no, they are a very bad idea, commenters concluded). Rushton also helped launch a seed exchange that was outside of the Bowen Island Flower Shop last year.
At about the same as Rushton helped launch the seed exchange last year, the Bowen Island Community School Garden Club was working on its own seed library.
The project, led by community school coordinator Sarah Haxby, had started as food sustainability and community connection project between the club and the Bowen library. It had support from Bowen Agricultural Alliance/Bowen Heritage Preservation Association, Knick Knack Nook, Parent Advisory Committee and Community School Association. But, with the pandemic, plans were left fallow (the library was mostly closed in those early days) and instead there was a seed giveaway at the Ruddy Potato.
Now, with the great remember-how-we-bought-all-these-supplies-to-garden-last-year-and-forgot-but-this-year-we’re-really-really-going-to-garden boom of 2021, the seed library is opening thanks to the teamwork of Rushton, Haxby and head librarian Tina Nielsen.
The library is starting with nearly a hundred seed packages donated by the BICS student gardening program and includes the Collins’ family’s kale blend – which has thrived on Bowen for nearly a century.
What’s the deal?
Check out the new #seedlibrary! Take some #seeds, grow them, let some go to seed, and re-donate seed next year! You can...Posted by Bowen Island Public Library on Friday, 9 April 2021
Seeds are free and available for people to take, trade, exchange and donate. The library requests users let some of the plants go to seed, save the seeds and donate them for future gardeners.
The library is accepting donations of seeds, which library and seed library volunteers will process (please label and date all donations), bulk seeds and cash. To volunteer or donate, sign up at the Bowen library.