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First ‘Seed Library’ Opens In South Jersey

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Carol-reporter-web-headshot-no-branding Carol Erickson
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By Carol Erickson

PITMAN, N.J., (CBS) — There are a lot of libraries in the country, but not like the one you’re about to see.

If you’ve got an appetite, check out what you can “check out” at the library in Pitman, Gloucester County.

In all these years, libraries haven’t really changed much. Still a lot of books on a lot of shelves, friendly libranrians to show you the way and words like ‘overdue’ and ‘fines’ —  the way libraries have always been.

Until now, until Pitman. Until the McCowan Public Library decided it was time for their clientele to quit reading screens and books and get a little dirty, starting by whispering a four or five letter word right in the library.

Seeds? In the library?

It’s a growing trend actually, this is the first one in South Jersey,” says gardener Jeff Quatronne, founder of the seed library. “A growing trend, yes, and I didn’t mean that as a pun.”

Quatronne sees puns and more possibilities.  Library books sharing space with heirloom quality vegetable seed packets, checked out just like a book on gardening, free for the taking to anyone who wants the plant version of a selfie.

“We started with plants that are known as selfers. These plants self-pollinate so we reduce the risk of cross pollination,” says Quatronne.

Quatronne started the library vegetable seed library with less than $100. The payoff to the public, old fashioned seeds that are not genetically modified.

“Which can be questionable to the fruit they produce and to nature,” says Quatronne.

While not every book borrowing library patron is into borrowing seeds:

“My mother trained me to hate gardening,” says one library patron.

For those who do check out a packet of salad seeds, a polite request — bring seeds back to the lending library from the plant it grows.

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