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LibraryFarm: Check out a Garden Plot With Your Books

The LibraryFarm, in a small community library in upstate New York, is helping teach food literacy.

As libraries evolve, they might be a little less focused on books or other physical media, but they're still places that provide information—in this case, how to grow vegetables. In Cicero, a small town in upstate New York, the public library decided to open the LibraryFarm, a garden where the community can learn basic food literacy.


With a library card, someone can "check out" a garden plot at no cost, as long as they agree to follow basic organic growing practices. If you don't know how to garden—or don't know how to grow produce without pesticides—a volunteer will teach you. The library wants to help "preserve knowledge that our grandparents might have had but never got passed down."

Half of the LibraryFarm lot is reserved as a public plot, where anyone can garden without commitment. If someone wants to practice planting or weeding, they can come anytime, and take home a small portion of the harvest. The rest of the produce is donated to local food shelters.

Not every library has access to land, but for those that do, this is an excellent idea to steal.

This post is part of the GOOD community's 50 Building Blocks of Citizenship. This week: Get a Library Card. Follow along, join the discussion, and share your experience at #goodcitizen.

Images courtesy of North Onondaga Public Library

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