May 1st is rolling around – the traditional date in this area for setting out seeds and not having to fear some late freeze will kill the new shoots. If you are looking for seeds this year, one of the places you can pick them up is at the Fannin County Public Library’s Seed Exchange.
The Library, with assistance from the University of North Georgia – Blue Ridge campus, Feed Fannin, the Cooperative Extension Service’s Master Gardener program and the Fannin County Co-op, has been hosting the seed exchange for the past three years. The seed exchange has flowers, vegetables and herbs harvested from local gardeners’ 2015 crops and from the Fannin County Co-op. The seeds are from heritage or heirloom plants. There are no hybrid seeds because the seeds don’t grow true from year-to-year. Each seed packet contains growing directions. The seed exchange asks that you don’t take more than five packages.
Since the Seed Exchange has been up and running for three years, there is very little cost involved for the program’s sponsors. Master Gardeners provide the descriptions to go with each packet and package the seeds. At harvest, local gardeners put up the seeds to provide for next year’s Seed Exchange.
The library is a perfect place to host a Seed Exchange says Fannin County Library Director Clare Barton. Central missions of libraries are community, heritage and self-sufficiency and that is what seed exchanges represent says Ms. Barton.
It is easy harvest enough seeds for yourself and next year’s Seed Exchange. For each row you plant, let one plant go to seed at the end of the harvest. In July, the Fannin County Public Library along with Fannin County Master Gardeners, will host a seed saving class to prepare the groundwork for 2017’s Seed Exchange.