Student, CCPL librarian, Master Gardener of Hamilton County discuss free seed program at the CCPL Seed Library


Ryan Zhang

Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL) provides a seed library for the community. The CCPL said the seed library is used to promote gardening.

Ryan Zhang

Free seed packets are available to all Hamilton County library cardholders at the Carmel Clay Public Library (CCPL) Seed Library located at Merchants’ Square Main Library. The seed library starts at the beginning of March and closes in fall or once the seeds are all taken. The seed library has a variety of flower, herb and vegetable seeds and visitors are able to take up to 15 packets of seeds. 

According to CCPL librarian Susan Wylin, the CCPL partners with Master Gardeners of Hamilton County to run the seed library and to provide seeds to the community. 

“We purchase the seeds and they use the library space and then they put the seed library in the library here,” she said.

Shelli Broadbent, Hamilton County Master Gardener who helped implement the CCPL Seed Library said the program was started several years ago after she had noticed many other libraries implementing seed libraries.

“We approached Carmel Clay Public Library six years ago now, with the idea of putting in a seed library,” she said. “We offered that Master Gardeners would take care of it. So we have volunteers that fill the packets and we continue to keep the cabinet full for the public. And the library provides our envelopes and labels.”

Broadbent said she believed the seed library was a great way to get the community to garden whether or not they have done it before. 

“The library and seeds are really a perfect combination,” she said. “Seeds like to be in a cool dark place and libraries are always at a steady temperature for the books, to keep the books in good shape, so it’s a good fit there. A library is the best public resource we have out there, so (seeds are) just one more resource to have to have with that. And it’s been really well received.”

Broadbent said besides serving the community, seed libraries also help the planet. 

“It’s a great way to help the environment,” she said. “For one thing, if everyone just planted beans for the season, there’ll be that many less beans that we’d have to have shipped from wherever and which cuts down on gas.”

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Junior Joxie Paxton who does indoor gardening said she sees the merit in the CCPL Seed Library. She said the seed library provides opportunities for people to try something new. 

“(The seed library) introduces more people to gardening, something that is really important. It could start a new hobby for someone and I think that’s really important. You can find out something new that you’re interested in,” she said. 

Paxton said she advises CHS students to try gardening. 

“It doesn’t hurt to try. I think that’s super important,” she said. “Even if you don’t like it, at least you’re going to have some experience with it. It’s a good skill and a good hobby to have. I mean, anybody can do it. You just follow the directions on the seed packet, that’s what I do.”