Seed library set to launch

Duane Hicks

In the spirit of “Earth Day” tomorrow, the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre will launch its seed library, with a sunflower start kit giveaway to follow on Saturday.
This marks the second year for the seed library, which is a free community resource open to library members and non-members alike.
Staff will be available tomorrow to take registrations for the seed library and answer questions, noted librarian Penny Shumaker.
People who want to use the seed library need to register so the library can track usage and keep statistics.
Those who signed up for the seed library last year do not need to re-register.
Shumaker said if someone has questions staff cannot answer, they can take that person’s question, refer it to one of the many local experts they know, and then get back to them via e-mail with their advice.
The idea of the seed library is for people to “borrow” seeds, maybe get them started inside right now, and then grow them over the summer, Shumaker explained.
Then in the fall, they’ll donate seeds back to the library—whether these seeds are from the vegetables or flowers they grew, or new seeds from the store, is up to them.
This is so the program can be sustained year after year.
Shumaker noted some people—but not everyone—donated back seeds last year.
“We did get some donations but we’d like to encourage that aspect this year,” she remarked.
The library also will be accepting monetary donations to buy new seeds and keep the seed library well-stocked.
Seeds available range from tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers and to herbs like parsley, dill, and basil to flowers such as zennias, marigolds, hollyhocks, and cosmos.
While you’re at the library, get a free sunflower kit (one seed pod per person while supplies last).
You also can have your photo taken with your tiny sunflower pot as part of the photo booth challenge.
Those who adopt a sunflower then will be asked to take a photo with their sunflower in late summer after it has grown.
The concept is for the library to have “before” and “after” photos of patrons who adopted sunflowers.
The sunflowers have been donated to the library.
And in honour of “Earth Day,” the library also is taking orders for the Rainy River District Stewardship’s annual tree sale.
The stewardship is selling white spruce, white cedar, and red pine seedlings for $5 a bundle.
Pick-up will be at the Emo Agricultural Research Station in mid-May.
Order at the library or online at
In other news, the library will host a Mother’s Day “Love You to the Moon and Back” craft-making session on Saturday, May 7 at 1 p.m.
Cost is $5 per person, with kids under eight must be accompanied by an adult.
Register online at