Seed lending library opens in Fort White

Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.

Fort White library patrons will have more than books to check out beginning this week.


Diana McCollum, a library volunteer and master gardener, organizes seeds for the Seed Lending Library Kick-off recently.



Columbia Seed Lending Library Kick-off

When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 14)
Where: Fort White Branch Library, 17700 Southwest State Road 47, Fort White
Contact: Patti Street, (386) 497-1108 or go to the library's website at

Library officials are launching a seed lending library Thursday to encourage patrons to plant gardens and donate seeds after they harvest their plants.

More than 50 different seeds specific to the region have been donated to the library by national seed companies, said Patti Street, the branch manager at the Fort White Branch Library, who expects the number and selection to grow. Patrons will be able to check out the seeds for free, as they would a library book, and then donate seeds from their harvest to perpetuate the program. There are plenty of fall weather crops offered, she said.

Volunteer master gardeners will be on hand Thursday to explain how to plant and harvest the seeds. Future programs will include discussions on how to plant a Florida garden, she said.

The free program came about as part of the library's continuing search for new ways to serve its public, said Street.

“The public libraries are looking for more roles to play in the community,” she said. “We help people experiment.”

Seed exchanges have been popping up all over the country as more people become interested in eating locally grown food or look for ways to save money on groceries through home gardening.

The library's vegetables, herbs and flower seeds will be kept in old card catalog drawers that were no longer being used.

“People will save money and gain a sense of self-sufficiency,” Street said.

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