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Seed library grows further across Newcastle


City of Newcastle Library Partnerships Facilitator Christina Robberds and City of Newcastle Manager Libraries & Learning Suzie Gately with seeds available to borrow from Newcastle Seed Library.
 

Green thumbs across Newcastle have contributed to the growth of Newcastle Seed Library, with a wider variety of seeds now available to borrow from the city's Digital Library.

 

City of Newcastle Manager Libraries & Learning Suzie Gately said that Newcastle Seed Library has been expanded due to its popularity and is a great way for people to get into gardening and learn new seed-saving skills.


"Gardening has become a popular pastime throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, with vegetable gardens flourishing in the backyards of homes throughout the nation," Ms Gately said.


"There are so many benefits to gardening, including improved health and wellbeing, and the opportunity to live more sustainably by eating fresh produce straight from your own garden.


"Over 1,200 seed packets have been borrowed since the seed library first opened, as locals have embraced the opportunity to borrow seeds for free, teach children about the life cycle of plants and learn how to save seeds.


"While sometimes growing from seed doesn't go as planned, we encourage borrowers to donate seeds back, which will ensure the continued growth of the Seed Library with a collection of varieties that have adapted to local conditions."


In October 2020, Newcastle Seed Library launched through an innovative community partnership with Newcastle Libraries, and enthusiastic gardeners have been able to borrow and donate seeds from Wallsend Library.


Certified organic varieties including basil, tomato, zucchini, pumpkin and bush bean were initially available to borrow from the Newcastle Seed Library and thanks to donations from community members, new additions include flat leaf parsley, marigold, Madagascar lima bean, loofah, sunflower, mixed lettuce and poppy.


Seeds can be borrowed from the Digital Library from today and Lambton Library when it reopens later this year, while seed donations can now be made at any Newcastle Libraries branch.


The Newcastle Seed Library is a free service and available to all members of Newcastle Libraries. Membership to Newcastle Libraries is also free and can be arranged by phoning 4974 5300 or visiting newcastle.nsw.gov.au/library


Tutorials are available to view on the Newcastle Libraries website to provide members with the knowledge to build their own skills to grow produce and flowers from seed. Over Summer free workshops will be held about native bees and natural pest control, and the Newcastle Seed Library newsletter is full of free seed saving tips.

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