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GROWTH SPURT: Newcastle’s first FREE seed library has sprouted!

There’s no doubt that, with COVID placing pressure on global food supply chains, more and more people have been turning to a more DIY approach to veggies and herbs.

Well Newcastle Libraries, keen to cultivate this positive trend, has this week launched the city’s very first Seed Library.

The concept is brilliant in its simplicity. Residents can ‘borrow’ from a range of seeds in the library collection and they are then encouraged to share the fruits of their at-home toils by returning seeds from the ensuing harvest to restock and expand the library collection.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the Newcastle Seed Library was an innovative community partnership project that would continue to flourish and grow as more people became involved.

“Gardening is a fantastic pastime with many benefits for your physical and mental health and wellbeing,” he said.

Hunter Multicultural Communities Garden coordinator Margaret Kenning, Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen, Hunter Multicultural Communities CEO Annette Gebhardt and Alex Mills Manager of Community Programs and Partnerships City of Newcastle Libraries at the Seed Library launch

“Growing your own vegetables is also a fantastic way to teach children about the life cycle of plants, while learning new seed-saving skills yourself.

“The best thing is you don’t need a huge amount of space to get started, with many of the plants able to be grown in pots.”

The Newcastle Seed Library, is currently being piloted at Wallsend Library with a view to adding additional branches to meet demand.

At this stage, the library is offering certified organic vegetables including basil, tomato, zucchini, pumpkin and bush bean.

“Sharing seeds through the Newcastle Seed Library will help preserve rare, tasty and historical varieties for gardeners in our community, while the return of successful seeds will allow us to develop a collection adapted to local conditions,” Libraries and Learning Manager Suzie Gately said.

Head here for more information on the Newcastle Seed Library.