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This week, prospective gardeners will not only be able to check out books on gardening at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, they can also check out seeds.
The Grow Memphis Seed Library at the Central Library opens at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11th. Through it, customers may "check out" fruit, vegetable, and flower seeds for free. Once those seeds are planted, tended, and harvested, customers will return some seeds from their produce to the library. Grow Memphis will maintain the seed library.
“Certain areas of Memphis have been referred to as ‘food deserts’ where fresh produce is not readily available, but the Grow Memphis Seed Library is a free and easily accessible resource for customers to get and grow their own produce – perhaps in flower pots or their own backyards,” said Jessie Marshall, business and sciences department manager. “The seed library will also encourage Memphians to grow their own food and eat healthier by giving them access to seeds at no cost.”
Each week, master gardeners will be on-hand at the seed library to answer questions, and they'll also host a few Explore Memphis 2016 programs. There's a Grow Your Own workshop for teens on Wednesday, June 22nd and a Seed Saving and Starting 101 workshop on Tuesday, June 28th.
“Our objective each day when we open the doors of Memphis Public Libraries is to help customers connect, learn, and grow. New programs like the Grow Memphis Seed Library encompass all three of these goals, and the impact is immeasurable,” said Director of Libraries Keenon McCloy. “Customers will be equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to become producers, instead of solely consumers. Also, there are no limitations based on socioeconomic status. Whether customers are seeking a new hobby or an essential food source, everyone is welcome, and there is no price tag involved. We are very excited about this project and the opportunity for Memphis Public Libraries to branch out in new and exciting ways.”