A Seed Library works just like a regular library. Yes, you can “borrow” seeds for free! How do you borrow seeds? The basic idea is that you plant the seeds, let some of the harvest go to seed, then return some of these next generation seeds for others to borrow for the next year’s planting. (Don’t worry, we don’t have fines if you don’t return seeds! It is okay if you end up taking seeds but are not able to bring any back.)
Our Seed Library is called the Seven Hills Seed Library. It is located next to the Quiet Room on the upper level of our building. Anyone is welcome to borrow seeds any time the library building is open. There are three drawers to choose from: Super Easy, Easy, and Difficult. Anyone may take any of these seeds and plant them, but we encourage home gardeners to save seeds from the “super easy” plants to begin with: tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas and peppers. (Some extra know-how needed for peppers.) We do not recommend saving seeds from plants in the “easy” or “difficult” drawer until you have more experience in seed saving. To learn more about seed libraries, check out this online orientation video created by Richmond Public Library.
Why the name Seven Hills Seed Library?
Port Washington, Wisconsin, is located on the shores of Lake Michigan, situated between the larger cities of Milwaukee and Sheboygan. In 1833, town founder Worchester (Wooster) Harrison coined the phrase “Little City of Seven Hills,” but Port Washington didn’t become the official name of the city until 1846. To this day, residents are familiar with the city’s seven hills:
- Sweet Cake Hill
- Billy Goat Hill
- Hill School Hill
- High School Hill
- St. Mary’s Hill
- North Bluff (Upper Lake Park)
- South Hill