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Lander to get 'seed library'

Nov 17, 2017 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

A new "seed library" will open in Lander this spring, allowing area gardeners to share the sources of their produce with other local green-thumbs.

Wind River Farm to Plate will organize the seed library - which will be housed in the actual Lander Library, 451 N. Second St. - using some logistical planning precedents set by a similar effort in Albany County.

It was Albany County's seed library that prompted Farm to Plate member Anna Smedts to approach group treasurer Andy Eckart with the idea.

With a tough growing environment in Fremont County, Eckart said it will be beneficial for the community to share "heirloom seeds" that have been passed from family to family.

"The main thrust of the idea is to have local gardeners share seeds that are doing well for them in this particular environment," Eckart said.

To stock the library, Wind River Farm to Plate will hold occasional "seed swaps," with donors providing their seeds directly to WRF2P, not the library.

The first seed swap will take place during the official seed library launch 10 a.m. to noon March 17. After that, Eckart will catalogue the seeds with as much supplemental information as possible, and the collection will be incorporated into the Lander Library card catalogue.

It will likely take some time for the community to adequately stock the library, Eckart said. Meanwhile, he'll seek out seed donations from local gardening retailers.

"As time goes by, it will be less about those commercial seeds and more about what people have collected over the years," he said.

Pushroot Community Garden will help manage the seed library as well, and starting in February, WRF2P board president Maggie Bell will teach gardening classes at the library. Lessons are scheduled for 5:30-7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, including instruction on harvesting, processing and storage of seeds.

The seed library will hopefully "encourag(e) folks to garden," Eckart said, noting that the increased foot traffic will also benefit the library. The seeds will be available free-of-charge under an agreement approved last month between WRF2P and the Fremont County Library System.

WRF2P was founded in 2013 to promote the consumption local foods, especially in county schools.

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