Get­ting grow­ing with CHB’s new li­brary of seeds

CHB Mail - - News - BY NEEN KENNEDY Founder, the Sus­tain­able Ewe

Spring is here and with it comes an ex­cit­ing new en­ter­prise for Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay res­i­dents.

Recog­nis­ing the need to build com­mu­nity re­silience, self-re­liance and the abil­ity of the com­mu­nity to grow and feed it­self whole­some food, the Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay Dis­trict Li­braries have teamed up with The Sus­tain­able Ewe to launch the CHB Seed Li­brary on Satur­day, Septem­ber 8.

Op­er­at­ing from the Waipuku­rau Li­brary, the Seed Li­brary will be open to ev­ery­one — from new to more ex­pe­ri­enced gar­den­ers — of­fer­ing a wide va­ri­ety of seeds from flow­ers to na­tive plants and, of course, a huge range of veg­eta­bles. There is some­thing for ev­ery­one to get spring plant­ing off to a fly­ing start.

Vol­un­teers from The Sus­tain­able Ewe and the ded­i­cated li­brary staff have been work­ing hard to bring this ven­ture to fruition: sort­ing seeds, cre­at­ing plant­ing guides and in­for­ma­tion on seed sav­ing — even mak­ing en­velopes for seed bor­row­ing and re­turn­ing! The re­sponse from com­mer­cial seed grow­ers has been over­whelm­ing, with do­na­tions of seeds and cat­a­logues to get the li­brary started.

How does it work?

Pop into Waipuku­rau li­brary and pick up a Seed Li­brary regis­tra­tion pack. In­side is a mem­ber­ship form, a seed record (so you can keep track of what you have bor­rowed and re­turned), a guide to how the li­brary works, a guide to the basics of seed sav­ing, and a few seed en­velopes to get you started. The hard­est part will be de­cid­ing what you want to grow! A printed cat­a­logue is avail­able for pe­rusal on the seed li­brary cabi­net, or if you pre­fer on­line brows­ing, a fully search­able cat­a­logue is on the CHB Seeds web­site. Choose what seeds you would like to try out, pop a few in your la­belled en­velopes and you are ready to get grow­ing! (After you have taken the seeds home, ob­vi­ously. Please don’t plant them in the li­brary!)

How can you help?

■ By do­nat­ing seed. All those halffin­ished pack­ets of beans and peas lan­guish­ing in your pot­ting shed can be do­nated and will be grate­fully ac­cepted, as well as any saved seed.

■ By vol­un­teer­ing to help with keep­ing the seed li­brary tidy and help­ing gar­den­ers less ex­pe­ri­enced with ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion.

Whether you are new to gar­den­ing and want to plant a But­ter­crunch let­tuce and grow a tomato, or more ex­pe­ri­enced and want to try some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent like Caigua (I can rec­om­mend it — weird but de­li­cious), pop on down to the Waipuku­rau Li­brary and check out The Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay Seed Li­brary.

■ Cen­tral Hawke’s Bay Seed Li­brary grand open­ing, Satur­day 8 at 11am. Ev­ery­one is wel­come. Check out the seed li­brary web­site www.chb­


Neen Kennedy, left, from the Sus­tain­able Ewe and Karen Tobin from Waipuku­rau Dis­trict Li­brary with the new CHB Seed Li­brary.

The drawers of the seed li­brary are full of flower seeds, na­tive plant seeds and a huge range of veg­eta­bles.

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