Kids and Adults Enjoy Leon County’s Seed Program
By Te’Andrea Hood
In the program room at the Leon County Main Library, names and pictures of different fruits and vegetables hung from the ceiling on manila envelopes.
On each table, there were planting buckets filled with fertilizer and small cup plants so that each person in the room could get their hands dirty and participate in Leon County’s Seed Library Program on Feb. 10.
The program started from Tallahassee resident Larry Peterson’s participation in Sustainable Tallahassee, which promotes environmental stewardship and economic vitality in our community through education and collaboration. After launching the seed program in late January, Leon County gave away more than 2,400 seed packets in just four days.
Outside of the room, people stood in line waiting to enter the room. The gardening demonstration is a unique gardening method focused on ways to grow plants when traditional gardening is unavailable.
Local residents couldn’t believe that you could check out free garden seeds with your very own library card.
County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley said, “Growing food is a commitment of the board and we take sustainability seriously.”
Trevor Hylton, Florida A&M University garden and vegetable Multi-County Extension agent, and Taylor Vandiver were the demonstrators during the event.
“These planting buckets are self watering, oxygen and water can get through them. The fertilizer is like vitamins for the plants, you want to make sure it drains well,” Vandiver said.
Vandiver and Hylton broke down step-by-step rules to gardening within a container. Each guest was shown how to instruct the plant inside of the bucket. A slide show was presented on how to build gardens and what supplies should be used to create a garden.
Interested guest quickly raised their hands when asked by demonstrators if there were any questions. After all questions were answered the gardening buckets that were constructed by the guest were raffled off. After the event everyone walked over to the library to check out seeds.
The varieties of seeds available for check out were selected based on taste and color in order to expand the range of complex flavors. All seven Leon County Public Libraries are participating in the Leon County Seed Program.
Big bright smiles were on kids and adults faces as some left the library with gardening buckets and seeds.
“Everyone knows we are a place for reading and learning, but now we are a place where you can literally grow, this program has been very successful and we want it to continue,” said Cay Hohmeister, director of Leon County Libraries.