LTPL_GROWS_LOGOLTPL Grows is an initiative that continues to build on our library’s successful line-up of sustainable living programming. It began with our Seed Sharing Library, in which people can borrow seeds and grow them to produce food and then save seeds from their crops and return them to the library when the season is over. Last fall we debuted our Demonstration Garden to the public. The garden plot was designed and built by Matthew Deeds as his Eagle Scout project.
Please consider donating tools and materials for our demonstration garden.  We are in need of the following supplies:

  • Bags of hardwood mulch for pathways
  • Lightweight wheelbarrow
  • Garden rakes
  • Shovels
  • Hoes
  • Trowels

IMG_8694In the LTPL Demonstration Garden we employ a no-dig, no-till technique called sheet composting, or “Lasagna Gardening,” in which layers of organic matter are put on the garden in the fall so they can break down over the winter. Essentially, nutritious compost is created right on the garden so in the spring seeds and transplants can be planted directly into the nutritious soil. Layers of mulch, organic matter and compost are continually added to the soil throughout the year to keep it rich and fertile and suppress weeds. Techniques such as Lasagna Gardening are perfect for backyard gardeners because they don’t require any special equipment and the gardener can make use of ordinary materials that would normally go to waste, including newspapers, leaves, and grass clippings.

Because the soil is so rich it retains moisture and requires less watering. Even a very small garden can be remarkably productive using this technique.

Please consider donating tools and materials for our demonstration garden.  We are in need of the following supplies:

  • Bags of hardwood mulch for pathways
  • Lightweight wheelbarrow
  • Garden rakes
  • Shovels
  • Hoes
  • Trowels

Our thanks to Matthew Deeds for designing and building the LTPL Demonstration Garden as his Eagle Scout project in 2014. Our thanks to Grand River Feed for donating several bales of straw to help establish the foundation of the Demonstration Garden.

IMG_3772The LTPL Seed Sharing Library is a free program that lends seeds and encourages borrowers to return some seeds from their harvests to make the seed library self-sustaining. All seeds borrowed and shared at LTPL are open-pollinated seeds, and many of them are considered heirloom varieties since they have been grown for generations. We hope to nurture a culture of community, sharing, and abundance by providing a place where people can connect to the traditions of sustainability and homegrown, healthy food. Beginning and experienced gardeners alike will benefit from this new forum for exchanging seeds and information.

 

We use the former card catalog to organize and store the seeds. Seeds will be labeled as Easy, Intermediate, or Advanced so people can choose according to their seed-saving expertise. LTPL will support the Seed Sharing Library by providing information though flyers, books, and DVDs. We will offer programs pertaining to gardening, seed-saving, and food preservation throughout the year. Our website will provide documentation and links to online resources. For statistical purposes, registration is required to use the Seed Sharing Library and patrons must write down what they take and bring in. The program is run on the honor system and if for some reason you are unable to return seeds to the library at the end of the season you will not be penalized.

To borrow seeds from the Seed Sharing Library we ask that you fill out a registration form the first time you use it. From that point on, when you take seeds you simply write down your name, date, and what seeds you are taking on the clipboard. Take only as many as you can use in one season, and please limit yourself to one packet of each variety. Please make every effort to follow the correct seed saving instructions to assure the seeds you bring back to share at the end of the season will grow true to type.

To share seeds, first remove the seeds from their pods and clean according to the directions in the link “Harvesting & Storing Seeds”. Bring your clean, dry seeds to the library in an envelope, bag, or jar. Please use recycled containers if possible. Fill out a seed sharing form (available at the library and on the website) for each variety of seed you are sharing and tape or staple it to the container. Place your container and form in the seed drop-off box. The seeds will be packaged, labeled, and filed in the Seed Sharing Library by a staff member or volunteer.