Issue: 2015-04-16 PHOTO: courtesy of Yukon Government
Just call her the seed giver — Energy, Mines and Resources librarian Heather Sweeney
Spring is approaching — it’s time for all those with a green thumb to enjoy the warm weather. The garden season in the Yukon poses challenges, but those who know seeds and soil manage to pull through and enjoy the bounty of the land.
Common amongst the garden culture circle is the planting of vegetables and flowers. Everything from squash, beans, carrots, corn, tomatoes, marigolds, nightshade, and red sunfl owers can be seen sprouting in one area or another. But in order to grow such a mixture, the selection of seeds must begin.
When I used to work at the customer service desk at Canadian Tire one of my duties was to organize and stock the seed racks. This was no quick task. Boxes of seeds were stored in the back, and each day they had to be re-stocked, until there was none left. So, what happens when retailers have been cleaned out?
Well, no worries, your garden can still grow. For the first time, Yukon Energy, Mines, and Resources presents the seed library. No, this is not a collection of seed sketches with information blips. This is a living library. “The seed library has a collection of seeds which are free to all Yukoners,” says Heather Sweeny, the research and systems librarian. “What is asked in return is that at the end of the garden season, people donate their leftover seeds, so we can keep the library going.”
The seed library opened March 11, and has quickly gained popularity. Some of the seeds on hand are dill, kale, sage, beet, radish, and many fl owers. The library also features books and magazines about gardening. Also, be on the lookout for gardening workshops about soil conditions and seeds. They’re being offered at the seed library throughout the season.
At the moment, the seed library is made possible by various donations. “We hope to keep this library going for a long time. Any type of support from the community will be much appreciated,” says Sweeny.
The seed library allows those who may have never considered picking up a garden spade to try something new. And in the process local produce is being created.
There is a lot of pride to be had when you put in the effort and grow something on your own. And let’s not forget about the fl owers. The Yukon has a lot of rugged beauty, but fl owers across everyone’s lawn would just make the territory extra pretty.
The seed library is located in Room 335 in the Elijah Smith Building, in downtown Whitehorse.