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Borrow, grow, return: seed lending now at Erin library

Grow - Seeds are now available for borrowing at the Erin library after Jen Edwards debuted the lending library in April. Borrowers can take seeds, grow them and then return seeds after the harvest.  Photo by Olivia Rutt

Borrow, grow, return: seed lending now at Erin library

by Olivia Rutt

ERIN - Seeds are now available for borrowing at the Erin library after making a debut in the community in early April.

Jen Edwards, organizer of the Erin Seed Lending Library, said the library is a great way to get out in the gardens.

A seed library is a free program allowing residents to sign out seeds in the spring, grow them and bring back seeds in the fall.

Edwards, who first saw the idea while at a seed exchange at the Port Credit library in Mississauga earlier this year, said she thought it would be a great program to start in Erin.

“I had never heard of that and I thought it was just amazing,” she said.

“I was thinking maybe next year (for the program in Erin), but then I thought, ‘You know what, let’s just do it.’

“I had a fair number of seeds of my own and then as soon as I started telling people I’m going to do this, they started giving me seeds, so I got quite a lot of seed donations.”

She has given out about 225 seed packages in the last month.

As of May 8, the seed library is now available in the Erin library.

“I just like the idea of sharing, just to get more people growing,” said Edwards, who has been gardening all her life and has been taking care of the Erin Public School gardens for three years.  

“I want people to try it.”

Interested gardeners can pick out the packets they want, grow them, then in the fall harvest a few seeds to return.

Edwards said people can be uncertain about returning the seeds, but it is actually an easy process and there are no overdue fees.

“It’s a learning curve, but it’s important for people to learn ... they’ve got their own seeds right there, so keep some seeds for yourself and give some back to the library,” she said.

Some of the seed varieties in the inventory are: giant pumpkin, Swiss chard, carrots, red poppy, corn, beans, eggplant, jalapenos, squash, radish, watermelon, sunflowers and more.

“It’s just like a grassroots thing; be friendly with other people,” said Edwards.

“I’ve met so many nice people, really nice people through this.”

More information about the program can be found at or by contacting Edwards at


May 19, 2017


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