The Rotorua Seed Library He Kohinga Kākano has now found a home at Te Aka Mauri, Rotorua Library and is looking for people keen to be "seed guardians".
This is a free, volunteer-run effort to promote growing and seed-saving in Rotorua. It relies on the efforts of the public to save and donate the seeds on offer.
Anyone can use this resource. Just fill out a registration form, add some seeds to an envelope to take home, grow your plants, and return some dry, clean, and well-labelled seed for future growers to enjoy.
If users are unable to return seed, they might consider making a small koha toward running costs or donating commercial packets of seed to boost the collection.
Library director Laura Marshall welcomes the opportunity to place the Seed Library alongside the gardening books on the first floor of the library, providing a connection between library resources and this community initiative that encourages sustainability.
Hester Jackson-Scott is the organiser behind the Rotorua Seed Library - He Kohinga Kākano.
A keen gardener from age 11, she developed a passion for food gardening in her final years of university.
Inspiration for developing a seed library came after a visit to the Nelson Seed Library, and she has been keen to get involved with one ever since.
Now seemed like a great time to get started, to help get people into gardening and build community connections.
Hester says growing your own plants and saving seed can either be easy or hard, depending what you decide to grow.
"Many plants grow easily in Rotorua's climate, but some such as melons are quite marginal when grown outdoors. It's probably best to start with something easier and work your way up to these.
"Other plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin and zucchini will grow well in Rotorua, but saving seed from them is more challenging as they will easily cross with other varieties, and you may end up with crazy hybrids like broccoflower or pumpchini."
She says easy plants to start out with when growing or saving seeds include beans, peas, lettuce and rocket, "although you will still need to pay attention to the time of year as some prefer warm, dry weather while others require cool, wetter weather".
Hester is also looking for people who are interested in becoming seed guardians.
A seed guardian commits to growing a particular variety of plant with the aim of collecting a large amount of high-quality seed to return to the library, to keep seed lines strong and available for the public.
Although seed-saving experience is an advantage for this, it is still possible to be a seed guardian as a beginner, by starting with easier seed and guidance on how to get the best results.
The Rotorua Seed Library is open to the public during Te Aka Mauri- Rotorua Library opening hours.
If you would like to get involved email email@example.com, or visit the Rotorua Seed Library Facebook group.