The Estevan Public Library (EPL) always has some unique programs and services they offer to the community.
This time of the year, they are supplying something that's on almost everyone's shopping list – seeds.
The seed library first opened at the EPL in 2018, but they had to skip last year due to restrictions. The project was revamped and has a wide variety of different vegetables, fruits and flowers.
Jessica Kelly, the EPL adult programming co-ordinator, said the seed library was created in partnership with Quota International and interested community members.
"The goal of the seed library is to help promote healthy living and encourage lifelong learning, as well as provide accessible and affordable sources for different seeds, so you can grow it at home," Kelly said.
Every person can take up to four different types of seeds free of charge to plant in their gardens. Since it's a library, it assumes the return process, so the EPL asks those who utilize the service to bring some seeds back at the end of the season to help build a new collection for the next summer.
"At the start of the growing season, people can come in, and we have a sign-up sheet, just asking you a couple of questions, like how much you know about gardening and some contact information. And then you can pick up to four different seeds. So during the season, you'll grow them. And at harvest time, you can either donate new seeds or donate some of the extra seeds you collected from your plants," Kelly explained.
The seed library opened in April and will be available until September. So far, it has attracted quite a bit of attention.
"Interest in it has been really good, especially at the beginning of April. I know a lot of gardeners usually wait until about the May long weekend until they actually start getting serious about planting things into the ground. So there's still time for people to grab some seeds if they'd like," Kelly said.
The collection is a mix of seeds purchased in stores and those supplied by gardeners. The library also offers a wide variety of books and magazines on gardening, which may enhance the experience. The seed library is open to anybody, but if people want to deepen their knowledge and read something on gardening, they would need to be EPL patrons. Kelly said it takes no more than five minutes to do the paperwork to receive the library card, and it's free of charge.
"The longest part is picking out which seeds you'd like," Kelly said.
Outside of books, magazines and seeds, the EPL also has a collection of movies, audiobooks and video games available for patrons. They also currently have a contest for new members.
"Right now we do have a new membership draw going on. So if people are interested in becoming new members, not just to get seeds from our library, but get some gardening books, they can grab a new membership, and they'll be entered into a draw for a prize at the end of the month," Kelly said.