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Monday Motivator: Want to grow a garden? Brainerd Library can help

The community is invited to try growing and saving peas and beans this summer through a new gardening and learning opportunity called "Give it a Grow."

"Give it a Grow" is a collaboration with Crow Wing Energized, University of Minnesota Extension Crow Wing County Master Gardeners and the Brainerd Public Library to provide free open pollinated, non-GMO, untreated seeds people can grow and eat while saving the seeds to plant next year.

"We want to encourage as many people as possible to give growing a go. Growing your own food can be fun, it tastes great and you don't even need a garden," said Jolene Bradley, Brainerd Public Library manager. "Everyone is welcome to come to the Brainerd Public Library to pick up free pea and green bean seed packets and information on growing, caring and even saving seeds for next year."

She emphasized everyone can grow something, somewhere, because growing vegetables can be very simple and even done in pots.

Seeds from store-bought hybrid plants cannot be saved. Bradley reported, "When people buy hybrid seeds they have to buy new seeds each year. However, if you grow open-pollinated seeds, you can save seeds each season for planting next year. Each time you save seeds from a plant, you are helping to improve that variety's unique characteristics. We can create plants that are ideal for our local environment and feature the qualities which are the most desirable to us."

"By saving the seeds from the best plants that you have to have even better plants next year. We would love to see seed saving become a normal practice, just as it was for many of our grandparents."

Seeds are now available at the Brainerd Public Library, while supplies last.