Dreaming of growing your own fields of colorful flowers, juicy fruits, and vegetables galore? Are you worried our dry desert won't be able to fulfill these harvesting dreams? A solution just arrived in Phoenix.
The city's first public seed library opened in Phoenix this past Saturday.
The cooperative is sponsored by The Valley Permaculture Alliance (VPA), an organization focused on inspiring "sustainable urban living in the desert southwest," according to the organization's website.
The seed library, which is modeled after seed libraries found in Tuscon and other cities, offers people access to quality seeds, free of cost.
Originally from Chicago, the group's executive director, Doreen Pollack, says she started educating people about seed saving after moving to the Valley, because she was trying to create a chain of seed that would thrive in Phoenix.
She says that seed saving and sharing is important because it not only exposes people to a variety of plants and vegetables, but also because the reusing of seeds year after year helps with the longevity of the strain.
"The more you keep growing seeds, the more resilient they become," Pollack says.
The library offers a vast array of plant seeds, ranging from fruit and vegetable seeds, to herb, flower and ornamental seeds.
While the majority of the crops and plants grown will likely be used for personal consumption, the founders hope the seeds will eventually serve as a standard at farmers markets and other public places.
The culture of sharing is strongly emphasized by the organization, as can be seen by their dedication to sharing their crop knowledge and encouraging seed savers to share their plant seeds with other (potential) green thumbs in the community.
This is why the entire seed library is formatted to be packed up easily and will fit in a car.
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"We want to reach other communities, such as libraries, or those who can't easily come to our office by themselves, so that we can teach people about the seed library," Pollack says, because people need to be educated about cross-contamination and other factors before seed sharing.
For upcoming events, check out The Valley Permaculture Alliance's event page .