Have a need for seeds? There’s a library for that.

This story is part of the Shenandoah Valley Ever Green radio project, produced in partnership with WMRA. This seasonal program focuses on the environmental and natural systems of the Valley. To listen to the full winter episode, tune into WMRA (90.7 FM) at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15.

By Jackson Hephner, contributor

For farmers and gardeners, the practice of saving and sharing seeds has been a long tradition, and those in the Shenandoah Valley can now access them through a lending library.

The Community Seed Library, which has offshoots at JMU Libraries and Massanutten Regional Library’s downtown Harrisonburg location, serves as a repository for vegetable, flower and other plant seeds. Anyone can take them — and donate them.

Such a system made a lot of sense for an area that has rich farmland and a diverse population, especially in and around Harrisonburg, which has refugee families from across the globe.

“A lot of people are coming from place where they might have been gardening their own food — farming their own food,” said Liz Chenevey, a JMU librarian and one of the co-founders of the seed library. “So we just saw a lot of opportunities where people would be really interested in having an affordable and accessible way of getting seeds and sharing them with their neighbors.”

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