MILWAUKEE — You've probably heard about little free libraries before. You know, the boxes around your neighborhood that you can donate books to or take books from. Well, a Milwaukee woman is putting her own unique spin on little free libraries. She's creating seed libraries.
Instead of books, Amanda Neuman, the creator of the Milwaukee Seed Library, stocks boxes with seeds and garden starter kits. She just installed her first one in the beginning of May. Eventually, she said there will be pamphlets on how to grow successfully.
"Realize that gardening is way easier than you think. It's also very therapeutic, and it is something that you have control over, and it feeds you for free," she said.
The goal is to promote sustainability and encourage people to garden. Neuman said that we need to make local sourced food more of a priority in our society. This is her way of getting more people on board. Plus, it's all free.
"We want people to just impulsively grab seeds and experiment. Use this as a learning tool," she said.
The first Milwaukee Seed Library was built on the outside of the Cactus Club in Milwaukee. This isn't a brand new concept. Other libraries in Wisconsin have variations of seed libraries, but Neuman hadn't seen any in Milwaukee before.
"Surrounding libraries around Milwaukee have seed libraries, but the library - the Milwaukee Public Library - doesn’t have one."
So she took it upon herself. She built the library with the help of her dad. She stocked it with seeds that they purchased and ones that were donated to her.
In the future, she hopes that people donate to the library just as much as they take from it. Neuman also plans on building four more around the city at places with high foot traffic, but also in conjunction with businesses that are committed to their community.
You can get involved with the project by reaching out to her on Instagram at MilwaukeeSeedLibrary or send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.