Sow the seeds for Autumn gardening - and dining - with Singleton LIbra

Published on 19 May 2022

Gardeners sowing late autumn crops are being encouraged to take advantage of the Singleton Seed Library with a range of seeds including broad beans, carrots, cauliflower, beetroot and kale ready to be planted now.

Run by Singleton Library in conjunction with the Singleton Slow Food Group, the Seed Library has grown in popularity since borrowing began six months ago to be largely self-sustaining as gardeners donate seeds back from their harvests.

Vicki Brereton, Singleton Council’s Director Organisation and Community Capacity, said it was recycling at its best at a time when food prices were on the rise.

“A seed library works much like a traditional library in that seed packets are loaned out to library members in the same way as a book, except that the packet doesn’t need to be returned,” she said.

“We encourage people borrowing seed packets to harvest seeds from the healthy plants and return them to the Library so they can be loaned to other gardeners in Singleton.

“It’s a real success story that the Seed Library is already so popular that we rarely have to buy seeds in because it’s largely self-sustained by the number of seeds donated back by local gardeners.”

Among the many advantages of the Seed Library, the donated seeds are suitable for the local growing area and climate which offers a greater chance of success in other local gardens.

Seed Library volunteer coordinator and avid gardener Pearl Garrett said she was inspired by a philosophy that “you’ll feel happier in yourself if you add one thing you’ve grown to your plate every day”.

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it definitely keeps you grounded, connected to your food, and it’s cheaper,” she said.

“If you’re brand new to gardening, and even if you’re not new to gardening and you’ve got a bare patch of dirt, what’s it going to hurt if you go and get a free packet of seeds from the Library and throw them in the ground?

“If they don’t grow, you haven’t lost anything except a bit of time, and if they do grow, you can add something you’ve grown to your plate.”

The Seed Library is available to all members of Singleton Library. For more information about the Seed Library, planting your seeds or to volunteer, click here.