Castlemaine Seed Library seeks volunteers

Castlemaine Seed Library is keen to secure some more volunteers.
While some multinational corporations might like to patent the stuff of life for shareholder profit, in Castlemaine this local grassroots service aims to ensure local people always have free access to local food seeds just as nature intended.
The Castlemaine Seed Library is part of the Growing Abundance Project and has been running for three years now, offering people the chance to ‘borrow’ vegetable seeds, take them away, use them and then make a return in much the same way as they would a library book.
The obvious difference is that borrowers won’t be returning exactly the same items they borrowed.
“The idea is that if you have a successful season that you can return more seeds than you borrowed,” the seed library’s team leader Dayna Morrissey says.
Dayna says the seed library operates in affiliation with the town’s conventional book library, and also with the town’s two community gardens.
A board in the library is used to display the wide range of seeds available to borrow with borrowers required to register, she says.
“You can then borrow up to three seed packets at a time.
“We’ve had a huge uptake with the borrowing – 450 borrowers, and we’re now making up 1500 seed packets a year.
“It’s really about getting people who might not have gardened before to take it up.”
The seed library holds an hour-long social working bee each month, where volunteers package up the seeds that will then be made available to borrow at the conventional library.
“We’ve got a fairly reliable turnout to our monthly working bees,” Dayna says.
“But it’s the behind-the-scenes essential roles that we need more people to help with. We’re looking for ideally about 10 people for about an hour per month.”
The type of seeds made available to borrow typically include edible vegetables but also some flowers – all suited to thrive in the local area.
Held at Castlemaine’s Ray Bradfield room last Thursday, this month’s working bee featured the packaging of many spring garden favourites like tomatoes, beans, lettuce, peas and silverbeet.
More information is available from working bee coordinator Susan on 0419 360 579 or by emailing seedlibrary@growingabundance.org.au or via the Castlemaine Seed Library Facebook page.

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