CLEVELAND -- It's one of the things that connects us all: food. One local couple is seeing the possible by creating a way people can grow their own. And all you need is a library card.
At the Lorain Branch of the Cleveland Public Library, people are learning about seeds. It's part of Cleveland Seed Library where patrons can check out a variety of seeds and grow their own food.
"We were able to set up five seed sharing stations at five different libraries in the Cleveland area," said Marilyn McHugh, co-founder of the Cleveland Seed Bank. "It has been really amazing; we've gotten a wonderful response."
The Seed Library is part of the Cleveland Seed Bank, created by McHugh and Chris Kennedy. Once the food is picked, they ask that you save and return seeds back to the library to share with others.
"We really want to empower Clevelanders on how to save seeds and really take back control of our food supply through our seed supply," said McHugh.
People at a recent seed saving event found it's easier than they thought.
"It's very important that they are passing on the knowledge down to people. And making it simpler for us because most of the time we think it's scary," said Deepa Vedavyas
"This is an old idea," said Mike Moritz. "This is what the community used to be naturally. You can get a lot more done with a group of people then you can by yourself."
Seeds are living embryos. Keeping seeds local ensures a stronger food supply.
"And these living embryos are able to adapt to our Cleveland weather, our soil, our water, our sunshine," said McHugh.
The Cleveland Seed Bank also has an online seed exchange to expand efforts to grow local.
"There has been a wonderful boom in local foods, and especially here in Cleveland," said McHugh. "Growing your own seed is the next logical step to really have food security."
The Cleveland Seed Library program is approaching its one year anniversary. Participating library locations are:
Addison – 6901 Superior Ave.
Carnegie West – 1900 Fulton Road
Garden Valley – 7201 Kinsman Road, Suite #101
Lorain – 8216 Lorain Ave.
Science & Technology Department, Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing, 3rd floor, 325 Superior Ave.
For more information on either the Cleveland Seed Bank or Cleveland See Library, visit ClevelandSeedBank.org.