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Ponoka has a new seed library

Calling all gardeners: Ponoka Jubilee Library has started a community seed library and we’re looking for seed donations.

The Ponoka Seed Library is a collection of donated seeds to share within the community. This free resource is intended to support and encourage the diversity of plants in our area.

How does a seed library work?

Participants can borrow seeds in spring, grow the plants over the summer, and return some of the harvested seeds in fall to be borrowed by different gardeners the next year.

The Ponoka Seed Library includes vegetables — primarily beans, peas, lettuces, and tomatoes — herbs, and annual flowers. Seeds can be from your garden plants or leftover seeds from a purchased packet. All of the seeds in the library are from heirloom plants.

This month, Sommer Home Hardware donated a large collection of seeds as a foundation for the seed library.

What is the difference between heirloom and hybrid seeds?

Plants that have been around for generations are called heirloom plants because the seeds they produce grow into new plants that are just like the parent. The consistency of the seeds is what makes them ‘heirloom.’

Hybrid plants are new plant varieties that have been cross-bred to produce particular features such as stronger stalks or new flower colours. Hybrid plants look great, but if you planted their seeds, the new plants wouldn’t grow to look like the parent plant.

Because they can’t be regrown dependably, hybrid seeds aren’t part of a seed library.

Is there anything else you can’t donate?

We don’t accept harvested seeds from cucumbers, squash, melons, and corn because they are too easy to cross-pollinate.

How can I donate seeds?

Seed donation is easy. First, harvest and dry your seeds in fall. Then bring them into the Ponoka Library. Fill out a quick donation form with the type and variety of seed, and where it was grown and leave the seeds in the donation bin.

You can donate as many seed varieties as you want. The more seeds donated in fall, the more there will be to choose from in spring.

For more information on the Ponoka Seed Library, contact Sara at the Ponoka Library at 403.783-3843.

– Submitted by the Ponoka Jubilee Library