A lot of Canadians are getting out and getting into gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now some veteran gardeners in Calgary are out to help others get some great seeds sprouting.

About 30 volunteers are busy setting up the Calgary Seed Library, a place where gardeners will be able to check out seeds free of charge and also donate any seeds from plants they’ve grown.

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The volunteers believe it’s a timely project, given the numbers of people who have put in gardens while COVID-19 restrictions were in place.

“A lot of people, spending time at home over the pandemic, got really excited about growing more, having more control over their own food,” Seed Library founder Shelby Montgomery said.

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“A lot of people gained an interest in gardening, and this is sort of that next step.”

Montgomery and others involved in the project are preparing containers of seeds to go on shelves in front of a garden-themed mural painted by local artists.

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“It’s community-driven,” artist Courtney Lawson said. “A bunch of different people coming together to grow something brighter for the future.”

The volunteers are coming together in donated space in an independent bookstore in the Inglewood neighbourhood in southeast Calgary.

“We’re really big on community-building and I love gardening,” The Next Page Books’ co-owner Jeremy Shannon said.

“It’s just nice to know that you can go somewhere and get what you need, for free.”

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The Calgary Seed Library plans to start offering seeds to gardeners in the fall of 2021, hoping that giving out local seeds will help give Calgary gardeners the edge they need.

“We live (in) such a challenging place to grow — we are under that Chinook arch (and) we get really intense weather,” Montgomery said. “So the more seasons that seed has spent in our local environment, the better it’s going to do.”

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