Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh hosts “A Celebration of Seeds: 5th Annual Seed and Plant Swap”
Saturday, February 25 in Collaboration with Phipps Conservatory and Grow Pittsburgh
The time to punctuate winter’s dreary landscape with vibrant plants and integrate homegrown produce back into your recipes has arrived. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s annual Seed and Plant Swap features seed stories, conversations with gardening experts, hands-on activities for children and teens, and a selection of free seeds and plants for the public.
Held in collaboration with Grow Pittsburgh and Phipps Conservatory, the free event takes place Saturday, February 25 from 11 am – 2:30 pm at CLP-Main, 4400 Forbes Avenue, in Oakland. Workshops on seed starting and seed saving begins at 11:30 am.
- 11:30 am Seed Starting Workshop (Phipps Conservatory) – Quiet Reading Room
- 12:30 pm Seed Saving Workshop (Grow Pittsburgh/Phipps) – Quiet Reading Room
- 1:30 pm Seed Stories – Quiet Reading Room
Concurrently, the Library’s Children’s and Teen Departments will host activities from 12:30 – 2:30 pm.
Rita Johnson, Librarian at CLP – Main, adds, “Seeds that have been donated by generous seed companies will be available, but we encourage attendees to bring extra commercial or saved seeds (open-pollinated, non GMO, non-hybrid seed) for swapping if they wish.”
If you’re a newcomer to the world of gardening, or someone seeking additional skills, seed saving and gardening experts will be on hand to answer gardening questions throughout the event. The Library has a seed library zine, a publication for seed swap and gardening enthusiasts, and books about seed saving. Bring the kids along as hands-on activities will be provided for the younger audience.
“The Seed Library is a source of knowledge and community building using seeds as the catalyst,” Johnson notes. “The Library wants to preserve local garden stories and knowledge while promoting the growth and expansion of a free and regionally adapted seed base as part of our commitment to sustainability.”
Rather than books, residents are encouraged to check out seeds, about 3 or 4 per desired plant. Envelopes and labels to appropriately identify seeds are provided. When checking out seeds, they are asked to fill out a member form available near the Seed Library on the first floor of CLP – Main. Later in the season, patrons are asked to bring some of their saved seeds back to the Seed Library to share with others.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Seed Library currently has 244 registered members. “We encourage them to share their stories,” Johnson says. “Some participants report that they ate more fresh produce from their gardens. Others said that they were able to grow plants from the seeds they borrowed.”