New Seed Library Coming to #CentralLibrary Will Offer Customers an Array of Free Seeds!

IMG_3515Each drawer of this card catalog holds a surprise for customers who open them. A new seed library is coming to the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, Business and Sciences Department, 3rd floor) at 10:30 am on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. One of only a few of its kind in the state of Tennessee, the Grow Memphis Seed Library will offer customers a chance to try their hands at local farming with the help of master gardeners.

Thanks to a partnership with Grow Memphis and the Tennessee Extension Master Gardener Program, starting Wednesday, May 11, Library customers can check out fruit, vegetable, and flower seeds for free! The process is simple. Customers will simply sign a log book noting the seeds they’ve gotten and, after harvest, return more seeds to the seed library for other customers to use. Grow Memphis has graciously agreed to maintain the seed library.

“Certain areas of Memphis have been referred to as ‘food deserts’ where fresh produce is not readily available, but the Grow Memphis Seed Library is a free and easily-accessible resource for customers to get and grow their own produce – perhaps in flower pots or their own backyards,” said Jessie Marshall, Business and Sciences Department manager. “The seed library will also encourage Memphians to grow their own food and eat healthier by giving them access to seeds at no cost.”

Master gardeners will be on hand each week to answer customers’ questions, and they will host Explore Memphis 2016 programs to assist groups of customers, like the ones listed below.

Grow Your Own (Teens) | Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 2 pm – 3 pm | Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, Meeting room A)

Seed Saving and Starting 101 | Tuesday, June 28, 2016, 5:30 pm – 7 pm | Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue, Meeting room C)

flowers img“This is an amazing resource for all Memphians to enjoy,” Marshall continued. “Our objective is to educate the community about farming and the benefits of healthy eating. Master gardeners will teach the skills customers need to improve their diets right there at home.”

Additional supporting resources, such as books about plants and farming, along with cookbooks, are available in Central Library’s Business and Sciences Department as well.

“Our objective each day when we open the doors of Memphis Public Libraries is to help customers ‘connect, learn, and grow.’ New programs like the Grow Memphis Seed Library encompass all three of these goals, and the impact is immeasurable,” said Director of Libraries Keenon McCloy. “Customers will be equipped with the tools and knowledge they need to become producers, instead of solely consumers. Also, there are no limitations based on socioeconomic status. Whether customers are seeking a new hobby or an essential food source, everyone is welcome, and there is no price tag involved. We are very excited about this project and the opportunity for Memphis Public Libraries to branch out in new and exciting ways.”

For more information about the Grow Memphis Seed Library, call (901) 415–2734.


By: Marcey Wright, public relations supervisor, (901) 415-2846