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 Eve Sandoval and Elizabeth Blomenberg are the co-founders of the Madison Heights seed library that opens this month at the Madison Heights Public Library.

Eve Sandoval and Elizabeth Blomenberg are the co-founders of the Madison Heights seed library that opens this month at the Madison Heights Public Library.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Seed Library launching at Madison Heights Public Library

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published March 13, 2020

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Those looking to flex their green thumb can get started with free seeds available at the Madison Heights Public Library’s newly launched Seed Library.

There are also two related events coming up at the library, located at 240 W. 13 Mile Road: “Sustainable Gardens,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, and “Rain Gardens,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 27. To register, visit the library section of the city’s website, madison-heights.org.

As for the Seed Library, it’s a community-led project where seeds are stored in a donated card catalog and sorted by herb, flower and vegetable species, as well as variety. A library patron can borrow five seed packets each year, and no more than two packets of any variety. Opening day is March 19, from 6 to 8 p.m., located at the front door, although the permanent location is undecided.

No library card is required. To borrow, the patron simply enters their name in the borrowing log and documents which type and how many packets were taken. This helps the library to track what is popular in the community.

Among the seeds available are annual flowers such as sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos; perennial flowers such as lupine and hollyhocks; herbs such as basil, parsley, lavender and chamomile; and vegetables such as beets, beans, corn, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, pumpkins, zucchini and more. Detailed instructions for growing are listed on each packet.

The limit on seeds taken per year will be adjusted as the library expands. Patrons are also encouraged to bring back seeds from their garden to help replenish the inventory. The library will also accept donations of purchased seeds or unused open packs of seeds. These will be sorted and eventually make their way into the card catalog.

The starting selection of seeds was made possible in part by a substantial donation from the Home Depot in Madison Heights. The library also solicited and obtained donations from Hudson Valley Seed Co. and Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.

The Seed Library draws inspiration from similar initiatives in neighboring communities. It’s a collaborative effort between Elizabeth Blomenberg and Eve Sandoval. Blomenberg is on the city’s Library Advisory Board and made the proposal. Once approved, she and Sandoval then visited local seed libraries looking for advice. Another member of the board donated the card catalog. Then came the task of sorting and taking inventory of donated seeds, creating a master list to track their usage. They also started a Madison Heights Seed Library page on Facebook.

“Growing up on a farm, I have so many special memories gardening with my family. Now as a parent, I love sharing similar experiences with my children,” Blomenberg said. “I hope the seed libraries will inspire others to garden, whether it’s developing a new skill, trying a new plant variety, starting a pollinator garden or even seed saving. Hopefully, the Seed Library will empower our community to continue to grow its culture of sharing and gardening.”

Added Sandoval: “For me personally, anytime I can inspire those around me to take up gardening and be more connected to the Earth is important. I feel the Seed Library is such a great addition to our community for beginning, intermediate and advanced gardeners. Allowing the community to have access to seeds they may otherwise not have had is a valuable resource.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Madison HeightsSeedLibrary or email mad isonheightsseedlibrary@gmail.com.

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