The Singleton Seed Library is run by Singleton Library in conjunction with the Singleton Slow Food Group.
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. 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.
Visit the Seed Library in person to borrow seeds. We have different varieties available at different times of the year. The collection currently includes vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Members of Singleton Public Library can access the Seed Library and take home some free seeds. A limit of three packets per library card can be borrowed every two months.
Grow your borrowed seeds, harvest them and return some seeds for others to borrow. There is no obligation to return seeds, sometimes growing from seed doesn’t work out.
Singleton Library and Slow Food Singleton hold regular programs on growing foods, Permaculture practices, saving seeds and more.
All programs will be advertised via the Library monthly flyer, social media channels and our website.
Why save seeds?
The Seed Library helps the community to sustainably grow food at home.
Borrowing and returning seeds helps us to preserve Traditional, Heritage and Locally adapted varieties.
It saves money and brings together a community of gardening enthusiasts to share their knowledge.
Over time we aim to build a collection of seeds that are adapted to our local area. This will allow us to strengthen our communities biodiversity and conserve Food Plant Diversity.
How to plant seeds
Get some good soil or compost. You can make some compost at home with a compost bin and worm farm.
1. Spread seeds over the top of the soil. Spread them out enough so each plant can start to grow without interference.
2. Spread a fine dusting of soil or compost on top of the seeds. The depth of soil should be the same size as the seeds eg small seeds only need a small amount of soil on top.
3. Water the seeds, it’s best to use a spray bottle or mist as too much water at once can cause soil erosion.
4. Water the seed every day until the plant germinates and grows, then use less over time.
How to harvest seeds
The most important seed saving rule is to save the best plants for their seeds and eat the rest.
- Collect seed early morning and after the dew is gone.
- Collect seed or fruit when large and ripe.
- For herbs check that the seed is very ripe, pull the whole plant from the soil and hang the plant upside down in a cool, dry place. Cover with a paper bag so seed is collected and not scattered.
- Collect seedpods of beans,etc. when the outside skin is quite dry and full of seed.
- For seeds of flesh fruits like tomatoes, scoop seeds out of fruit into a container of water and allow to ferment for a few days and then rub together through a sieve to remove flesh.
- Place your seeds in a donation envelope - fill in the name of plant, date collected, location and growers name and return it to the Seed Library.
For more detailed instructions on saving seeds, visit howtosaveseeds.com