Despite the cold and snow, some signs of spring are starting to break through in Colorado. The public library in the small town of Basalt is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds.
Here’s how it works: A library card gets you a packet of seeds. You then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds from the biggest and best, and return those seeds so the library can lend them out to others.
Tending a garden in Western Colorado can be frustrating. The dry climate, alkaline soils and short growing season keep many novices from starting. S
The seed packets are a novelty within the library’s more mainstream collection of books, CDs and DVDs.
The library’s director, Barbara Milnor, says in the age of digital, downloadable books and magazines, the tangible seed packets are another way to draw people in.
Milnor says that while a library may seem like an odd location for a project like this, seeds and plants should be open to everyone. That makes a public library the perfect home for a seed collection. The American Library Association says there are at least a dozen similar programs throughout the country.
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