EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Area gardeners can get free seeds from the El Paso Public Library.
To get the free seeds, you must have a library card. Patrons should call any of the library’s curbside locations. Staff can answer questions about what seeds are available at a particular location and will then set them aside for pickup during curbside hours.
For a list of curbside locations and hours, visit http://www.elpasolibrary.org/temporary-borrowing-measures/curb-service.
The seeds are part of the library’s Sow.Grow.ReapEat Program, which provides non-genetically modified seeds for fruits, vegetables and herbs to help area residents start an edible garden of their own. According to the library’s website, “The purpose of the Sow.Grow.ReapEat program is to provide an alternative to genetically modified seeds, increase biodiversity and plant resistance and reconnect local people with their food systems.”
Patrons can “check out” up to five seed packets a season. While there is no obligation to return the seeds, the goal is to let successful plants go to seed so that gardeners can harvest some of the seed for themselves and then donate the remainder back to the library to keep its collections stocked.
The library offers seeds such as arugula, beets, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, mizuna, okra, tomatoes, corn, squash, basil and more; however, each curbside location offers different seeds so be sure to call for a list.
For participants who do save their seeds, they are asked to use best practices to ensure that viable seed is returned to the library and so they are properly labeled.
The seeds are provided through a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
For more information, visit https://sowgrowreapeat.weebly.com/.