Rodman Library is partnering with StarkFresh to bring a “Seed Library” to our community. Beginning on Monday, March 13, vegetable and flower seeds will be displayed in the Library’s wooden card catalog located in the Library’s front lobby. Patrons may browse through the catalog and take the free seed packets of items they are interested in growing. The seed packets offered are the same ones seen in most retail stores with corn, beans, peas, squash, herbs, beets, radishes, watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers, cantaloupe, gourds, a few root vegetables such as turnips, and a wide variety of flowers. Mid-March planting will give patrons ample time to start their seeds indoors.
StarkFresh, located in Canton, Ohio, states their mission is “To help break the cycle of poverty by increasing people’s consumption of fresh, locally-sourced, nutrient-dense, healthy and affordable foods through equal food access and educational opportunities for everyone.” It started as a market in 2011. A need was identified in North East Canton for a neighborhood farmers’ market which was then started at the office of the Stark Social Worker’s Network just off Mahoning Rd. N.E.— and the Mahoning Road Corridor Farmers’ Market was born. Stark Social Worker’s Network formed a partnership with another local non-profit organization, JRC (formerly J.R. Coleman), and the growth began. By 2013 a backyard gardening campaign was created made up of neighborhood volunteers, with 50 families learning how to grow vegetables and herbs on their properties, growing nearly 800 pounds of produce. This was also the year StarkFresh was officially birthed at JRC, and by 2015, StarkFresh became its own agency separate from JRC. Today, the agency has expanded into offering a Mobile Market for the Canton area; educating the community on how to grow, eat, cook, and preserve fresh food; forming partnerships with groups to teach vocational skills around farming that will create jobs and help increase produce yields, and partnering with the Louisville Public Library, Massillon Public Library, North Canton Public Library, Rodman Public Library, and Stark County District Library to form a Seed Library to distribute over 12,000 vegetable and flower seeds to community members.
For more information on the Seed Library, call Rodman Library at 330-821-2665, ext. 107, or visit our website at www.rodmanlibrary.com. To learn more about the StarkFresh organization visit their website at www.starkfresh.org.