The Richmond Register

March 19, 2014

Sustainable Berea Seed Saving Project partners with the Madison County Public Libraries

Special to the Register

BEREA — Looking for garden seeds to plant that you can save and replant again? Look to the Madison County Public Library and the Sustainable Berea Seed Saving Project.

By housing the Seed Saving Project, the library makes it easy to check out seeds for free so you can grow your plants and harvest the seeds to return to the library for others to use next year.

Seeds in the library/SB partnership will be available for the first time from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29 at the Local Foods Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Berea Tourism Welcome Center on North Broadway.

Sustainable Berea started the seed library in January 2013 to encourage residents to grow food and save seeds. Seed libraries are being established across the country, but Berea’s is among Kentucky’s first seed libraries.

The Sustainable Berea Seed Saving Project will move to permanent homes in the Berea and Richmond branches of the county library May 1. Seeds will be housed in repurposed oak card catalogs donated to Sustainable Berea by Berea College.

“This is truly a community effort,” said Pamela Corley Slowkowski, coordinator of the Seed Saving Project.

“It is crucial to save our seeds, especially our heirloom varieties, as the industrial seed companies continue to produce GMOs (genetically modified seeds) which have negative health effects,” Slowkowski said.

Anyone with a Madison County Library card can check out seeds. The library will also have books on gardening as well as gardening tools that can be checked out for free. The library will also offer classes in related gardening topics throughout the summer and it will provide instructions on seed-saving.

Also available at the Local Foods Expo will be “everything you need and need to know” to raise food in your garden and yard, Slowkowski said. More than 25 vendors will offer everything from mushroom logs and plant starts to blueberry bushes and information on honey bees. Don’t miss the old-fashioned cake-walk or the pie auction.

Local businesses sponsoring the local food festival this year are The Potting Shed, Berea Coffee and Tea, Top Drawer Gallery, Berea Tourism, Montgomery Farm and Garden, Garver Farms, Foley’s Florist. Lazy 8 Stock Farm and The Berea Farmer’s Market.

For details, email Sustainable Berea at or call 985-1689.