Boston Public Library launched its pilot SeedShare program this past summer, debuting at the the Mattapan, Grove Hall, and East Boston branches. Over the course of the summer, Boston Natural Areas Network held workshops on gardening basics and most recently, saving and storing seeds for future use. In total, 300 seed packets were borrowed and more than 100 people attended the gardening workshops. The most popular seeds at Grove Hall were were cucumber, basil, and greens of all kinds. Seed packets were also available via the Bibliocycle that made its debut this summer as well.
The Mattapan Branch has four garden beds in the back of the building and over the course of many months, library users cleared, prepped, planted, maintained, and harvested vegetables to take home. “Families and teens come back and tell me all about their mini gardens; some are dying, some are thriving, but it is all about doing something new and learning,” said Caren Rosales, Teen Librarian at the Mattapan Branch.
The program is a partnership between the City of Boston Office of Food Initiatives, Greenovate Boston, Boston Natural Areas Network, and Boston Public Library. The library encourages all who borrowed seeds to return a few for next season; and of course, happy harvesting.