Ecological Culture Initiative (ECI) is getting a jumpstart on spring cleaning during a Seed Sorting party at the Hampton Bays Public Library on Monday, February 11.
“We are inviting community members to join the staff of the Ecological Culture Initiative in sorting donated seeds,” noted Rachel Stephens, ECI’s president and Agro-Ecology Director.
From 7 to 9 p.m., ECI and volunteers – all are welcome – will sort through and organize the Good Ground Seed Library.
“We will stuff the seeds into envelopes, label them, and use them to restock the Good Ground Seed Library which is housed in an old card catalog. Participants are welcome to bring seeds collected from their gardens to add to the seed library,” Stephens explained. “The Seed Library, located in the adult reference section of the Hampton Bays Public library, is a free service where folks can take up to five free packets of seeds per month.”
Attendees who have an abundance of locally harvested, heirloom, or native seeds may bring them along to help restock the Seed Library.
“We are encouraging people to plant edible gardens in their yards as a way of learning to grow their own food while getting in touch with nature,” Stephens relayed. “Many people have lost sight of where their food is coming from and how it is grown. Much of today’s food is processed and unhealthy causing us to become ill from diabetes and obesity.”
A seed library is also beneficial because it brings together and bolsters the community of seed savers who foster locally adapted plant varieties, which in turn increases biodiversity, and diminishes the depletion of plant gene integrity caused by genetic engineering.
“By growing our own vegetables we are empowered with the ability to provide healthy nourishment for ourselves and families and the knowledge that the food we are growing is fresh and organic,” Stephens shared.
For those that are curious about starting their own garden, this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about what will thrive locally.
“In the future, ECI volunteers will use seed collected from the Good Ground Heritage Garden at the St. Joseph Villa in Hampton Bays, to stock the seed library. The goal is to provide eco-type seeds which have adapted to the local climate making them more resistant to diseases and environment stresses,” Stephens said. “Organic vegetables are grown in the Good Ground Heritage Garden and donated to local food pantries.”
If you are looking to put your green thumb to good use this year, ECI is offering the chance to assist them in the Good Ground Heritage Garden.
“We are currently looking for local community groups and volunteers to help us grow and harvest the produce and seeds during the 2019 growing season,” Stephens added. “For more information please contact Rachel Stephens, ECI’s president and Agro-Ecology director, at [email protected].”
There is no fee to attend, but ECI does encourage those that plan on attending to register with the Hampton Bays Public Library by calling 631-728-6241.
Hampton Bays Public Library is located at 52 Ponquogue Avenue in Hampton Bays. For more information, visit eciny.org.