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CLEO'S SEED SHARE

HOW DOES "BORROWING" WORK?

Cleo's Seed Share is open and free to use for all patrons of the library. (This means everyone in the community is welcome -- after all, libraries are for everyone!) You can borrow seed from the Seed Share, except (unlike books) you don't have to return them! The seed is yours to keep and grow however you'd like. We encourage gardeners to save seeds at the end of the growing season and return some to the library to help replensih our supply.

If you have questions on best growing practices or on how to save seed, please look through our available resources on the Seed Share's main page. Or, come to one of the many gardening events hosted at the library throughout the year.  

You do not need a library card to borrow seed. You do not need to check out seed at a circulation desk. Like all of our library services, borrowing seed is also completely free. As mentioned in the "What Is A Seed Share" section on this page, one of our main goals is to reduce dependency on large corporations and give growing power back to the public. Removing financial barriers is an crucial step in this process. 

If you are curious to try growing your own food, but are unsure of what to grow or where to begin? Come see us! We have plenty of recommendations. 

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

During the 2019 Exhibit Columbus exhibition, the Bartholomew County Public Library plaza gratefully hosted Untitled, by Frida Escobedo Studio. This plaza garden transformed the public plaza into a place for exploration, improvisation, and play. The native plants and flora brought an incredible splash of color and brightness to our space - we were incredibly sad to see it dismantled! 

Thankfully, the legacy of Untitled lives on. A recurring question throughout the exhibition's run was, "What happens to all the plants?" While many plants were donated to various parks and gardens around town, a much smaller piece of the exhibition remains at BCPL: seeds! 

Through our partnership with Loci Creative LLC, the Bartholomew County Library founded Cleo's Seed Share in 2019. Seeds saved from Untitled's native plants and flora serve as the foundation of our collection. We hope to grow our supply of native seeds tremendously in the years to come. 

WHAT IS A SEED SHARE?

A seed share (or seed library, in some places) is a community resource, where anyone can receive free seeds and learn more about gardening. Cleo's Seed Share is a free local seed bank for the community that is maintained by the community. The mission of Cleo's Seed Share is to support a resilient, healthy, and sustainable community by providing educational opportunities, outreach, and free resources on gardening and seed saving.

Below are some of the many goals Cleo's Seed Share aims to support: 

  • Educate on gardening and the role plants play in preserving local habitats and pollinator species
  • Increase food security in underserved populations 
  • Increase access to healthy food
  • Preserve genetic diversity and restore indigenous varieties of seed 
  • Preserve cultural knowledge of growing and preserving food
  • Provide a free community resource and reduce dependency on large corporations for seed
  • Build a more sustainable, connected community