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Make It Grow Expo to mark grand opening of new Spartanburg seed library

Seed libraries are a growing trend, with about 500 sprouting up at public libraries and community centers across the country.

On February 27, Spartanburg County Public Libraries will add its downtown headquarters to the list of seed libraries around the Upstate, celebrating the grand opening with a Make It Grow Expo from 3 – 5 p.m.

The event will feature an afternoon of activities and instruction for everyone from the novice to the master gardener. Vendors include Spartanburg County Parks Department, Hatcher Garden, Master Gardener Association of the Piedmont and Clemson Cooperative Extension which will present a 4 p.m. session on Seed Growing 101.

Attendees will also receive instruction on the library’s new seed exchange program.

Spartanburg Headquarters Library has received more than $19,000 in seed donations from Lowe’s, Home Depot and Seed Savers Exchange, library officials say. That equates to about 8,000 seed packets for growing heirloom, organic and non-organic vegetables, as well as annual and perennial plants.

Amid the bookshelves on the second floor of Spartanburg’s headquarters branch will be an old-style card catalog – compliments of Spartanburg County Friends of the Library – filled with seed packets. Up to five packets per person per week will be available at no charge to anyone with a Spartanburg County Public Libraries card. Those who “check out” seed packets will be asked to record the type of seeds taken to enable library officials to track the more popular types.

Seeds featured in the card catalog will reflect vegetables and plants that are best grown during the current time of year, with seed varieties changed out on a seasonal basis.

The new seed library also will serve as a seed exchange, allowing growers to swap and share their excess seeds.

Seed libraries have proven successful at building a community of gardeners and supporting those who are new to the world of gardening. They also preserve rare or heirloom seeds and encourage gardeners to save quality seeds that are suitable for their local growing area.

For more information on the Make It Grow Expo and the new seed library at Spartanburg County Headquarters Library, contact (864) 596-3505.

Seed Libraries around the Upstate

Berea, Sarah Dobey Jones Branch, Greenville County Library System, 111 N Hwy 25 Bypass, Greenville, SC 29617, (864) 246-1695

Cowpens Library, Spartanburg County Public Libraries, 181 School Street, Cowpens, SC 29330, (864) 463-0430

Middle Tyger Library, Spartanburg County Public Libraries, 170 Groce Rd #1724, Lyman, SC 29365, (864) 439-4759

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