Williams Lake Garden Club co-chair Robert Lion organizes supplies for a seed library the club has set up for local residents. (Photo submitted)

Williams Lake Garden Club co-chair Robert Lion organizes supplies for a seed library the club has set up for local residents. (Photo submitted)

Williams Lake Garden Club creates new community seed library

For now residents can request seeds for pick up or delivery due to COVID-19 precautions

Experienced and novice gardeners are invited to access a new seed library in Williams Lake.

Robert Lion, co-chair of the Williams Lake Garden Club, said the hope was to place the seed collection in the Williams Lake branch of the Cariboo Regional District library, but for now due to COVID-19 restrictions, the seeds are being made available through pick up or delivery.

“We have over 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, and even grains such as quinoa,” Lion told the Tribune.

Some of the seeds were collected by members of the garden club and others are part of a large donation from West Coast Seeds that arrived in the mail Thursday.

Lion said the club only had to pay the $10-shipping cost for the West Coast Seeds.

The seed library was something the club had in mind for several months and hoped to launch on Seedy Saturday, which has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Eventually the intent is to set the seed collection up in a corner of the library, when it reopens so to the public can take a few seeds home, plant and grow them.

“Ideally we want people to learn a little bit more about gardening, a little bit more about growing food and then at the end of the season we would hope, where possible, that people save seeds from plants and bring them back so they can be shared among the community and used for next year’s growing.”

Anyone who is interested in obtaining some seeds is asked to e-mail wlseedlibrary@gmail.com to arrange for pick up or delivery.

Lion has lived in Williams Lake for two and half years and said he works from home remotely most of the time already so he was used to sticking around the house even before people were being encouraged to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a young baby in the house so my wife has been home on maternity leave so she’s been used to sticking around,” he added.

As a gardener, Lion said he’s noticed with the COVID-19 pandemic more people are considering doing their own gardening.

“Even talking with my neighbours, I think many people are thinking about expanding their gardens, which is good to see in response to something that is tough to deal with,” he said.

The Williams Lake Garden Club also has a Facebook page. Lion said they are looking for a card catalogue box or something similar for the seeds for when the collection does finally go into the library.

“There will be more resources from our club in the future, but because of the situation we are all in right now, we are starting things off a little differently.”

Additionally, they don’t want people to feel intimidated about having to return seeds at the end of the season either.

“We want them to return them where they can, but if not, that is totally OK. We just want people to get out and garden.”

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