Gardeners, rejoice; the Heirloom Seed Library is open again

Spring must be near — the Heirloom Seed Library is open for business.

This is the third year that gardeners can grow their own vegetables, herbs and flowers by checking out seed packets on display at two branches — the Library Station and the Midtown Carnegie Branch. Gardeners can check out up to four packets of heirloom seeds with a valid library card. We especially love to hear from teachers and parents, including one Library Facebook follower who commented, “We need to go to the library for our school garden!”

Visit for more details, or visit the link to peruse this year’s collection. It includes multiple varieties of beans, lettuce and tomatoes; corn, carrots, greens, herbs, peppers, squash and more. Flower seeds include zinnia, nasturtium and sunflowers. Each packet label includes detailed planting instructions.

“Heirloom” refers to seeds that have been saved after a harvest and passed on to others — like family heirlooms. The idea is to plant them at home or in your community garden, enjoy the harvest, and then save the seeds to use next season or return them, tagged, to the seed library for others to plant next year.

The Heirloom Seed Library staff will also send seed packets on the Mobile Library for individuals who use the bookmobile. Visit and select up to four packets of seeds. Then call Gina Marie Walden at the Midtown Carnegie Branch at 417-616-0508 with your selections. She will send them to the Mobile Library for you.

Get tips on planting a small-scale garden during Container Gardening, 6 p.m. Tuesday  in the Midtown Carnegie Branch upstairs meeting room. Patrick Byers, University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist, will talk about using portable container gardens to replace or complement traditional garden beds.

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Be sure to visit the How-to Festival on Saturday at the Library Center. Come for one or many of the 35 mini-sessions from 10 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. There’s beekeeping, meditation, origami, worm farming, drawing and more.

Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at