Spring is upon us and as such, so is the time for planting many of the flowers and crops that our Iowa soil nourishes so well. Ironically however, although Iowa is known for its cultivating abilities many Iowans do not have the space, time, or resources needed to join in the fun of growing their own produce or blossoms. Luckily, the last few years have brought with them many opportunities for the gardener in training, many of these options being very cost effective as well as convenient. Seed libraries, community plots, and garden tool rental are all available within our community; you just have to know where to look.
The Cedar Falls Public Library is a prime example of community outreach within the gardener’s realm. Stumbling upon it just a few weeks ago, I was amazed at the selection and variety of seeds available for use. Everything from heirloom to aubergine, many of which I was unable to find even in local gardening stores.
Beyond offering their incredibly vast selection of seeds, the Cedar Falls Library also loans out the tools to do the planting. Hoes, trowels, shovels, and rakes are all available and ready for checkout at the front desk.
Signing up is easy, all you have to do is register with any librarian at the information center. The process takes less than a minute; all they require you to do is write your name and email on a note card, which they file away. On this slip of paper they will keep track of the tools and packets of seeds you check out, allowing you to take up to five seed packets in total whenever you have the time to do so. They only ask that upon harvesting your crop you bring some of your bounty back, to catalog and use again the next year and for others within the community to use.
The Cedar Falls Public Library is currently in its third year of this seed rental program and is headed by Dan Mayer. If you’re looking for your opportunity to get involved this season, here it is! Don’t forget that the Cedar Valley Arboretum also offers gardening tips and plant care on our blog, by calling 319-226-4966, or by stopping in our Welcome Center during our hours of operation. So, go ahead and join the fun!
If you’re looking for plants instead of seeds, you can come to our First Annual Plant Sale Fundraiser on May 7th from 9am – 7pm. We will have annuals, perennials, and some veggies and herbs! To learn more about the plant sale, you can go here.
Article by Emily Lang