Columbia Falls library launches seed exchange

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Columbia Falls ImagineIF Library has launched a seed library and garden resource center that features a seed exchange. (Photo courtesy of ImagineIF Libraries)

If you need seeds to grow your own peck of peppers this summer, ImagineIF Library in Columbia Falls can help.

The library is collaborating with the Good Seed Co. in Whitefish to create a seed library that anyone can use, even those who don’t have a library card.

“The concept of the seed library is simple,” said Lune Axelsen, marketing coordinator for ImagineIF Libraries. “Take what you need, and if possible, replenish what you take.”

Those wanting to donate seeds — either surplus seeds they’ve purchased or seeds they’ve harvested from their own garden — can fill out a form to attach to seeds they bring in. Good Seed Co. owner Robin Kelson is working with the library staff to verify and repackage seeds that are donated.

The seed library also offers resources to help gardeners’ growing efforts succeed, such as informative fliers, books and workshops.

“While the concept of the Flathead Grows! Seed Library is simple, the intent behind the project is far-reaching,” Axelsen said. “The hope is to build community and food sustainability by appealing to the local passion for self-sufficiency.”

In addition, community members will have the opportunity to learn about regional gardening, resulting in increased self-reliance and a more genetically diverse seed supply, she added.

The seed library started about a month ago following a local Free the Seeds event at Flathead Valley Community College that allowed people to swap seeds and learn more about harvesting seeds.

Seed-cleaning parties will be scheduled in conjunction with the seed library project, Axelsen said.

To find out more about the seed library, stop by ImagineIF Columbia Falls or visit imagineiflibraries.org/flatheadgrows/.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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