Starting in May, southwestern Pennsylvanians can "borrow" local seeds from the Lawrenceville branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, with the hope that gardeners will then return harvested seeds in the fall for use the following spring.
Mary Monaghan, Assistant Director of Neighborhood Libraries, says returning newly harvested seed is completely voluntary. There will be no late fees, and librarians will not come to your garden to confiscate seeds.
Nine library branches will plant gardens where visitors can get their hands dirty, and classes will be offered on topics such as gardening, seed saving, composting, and the benefits of bees. Bat houses will be built. Details are available at the website.
Monaghan says gardeners may find seeds that are not available elsewhere, and by using local seeds, they help build a stronger crop and propagate heirloom varieties that are starting to disappear.
Pittsburghers are invited to tell gardening stories and share their expertise by emailing or calling Amanda West from the website. A YouTube channel is in the works.