This was a super fun projects and came together with the help of my wonderful neighbors, handy and creative father-in-law and my husband on the unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw People. The community seed library initially had started as a vision of wanting to introduce the neighborhood to native plants and share how easy it can be to introduce native species into our own gardens as an act of decolonization.
I have a BA in Indigenous studies and am currently studying Horticulture at VIU and felt this project could blend my interests perfectly. I soon discovered how difficult it is to ethically access native plants/seeds, with only one native plant nursery in Nanaimo. So, I shifted the focus to seeds generally. Seeds are an economical and genetically diverse way to grow food and flowers and this is going to be more the direction I move in for The Bee Hive. I am also trying to promote the idea of seed gardens: people take the seed, plant and harvest from the plant and let the plant go to seed and saved for the library. This reciprocity will maintain the viability of the library and move towards a shared ownership of the library rather than just me moderating it.
Eventually, my plan is to integrate more about native plants and seeds along the way holding workshops with NALT and with restoration professionals. So, while my initial idea didn’t pan out the way I had envisioned, I have adapted a new plan for the time being, focusing primarily on seeds, and plan to build up interest around native plants as time goes on.
But for now it has been so fun! A few things have been stolen and with our unpredictable west coast weather, I am having to bring the seeds in each night, but overall it has been such a treat. People have not only dropped off seeds, but, plants too. My only request is no invasive species but otherwise most plants/seeds welcome! I have chatted with folks in our neighborhood and they have been sharing with me how they have been interacting with it and that was a huge part of my drive to do this project: to create community. To create a space where anyone and everyone can share, learn from each other and possibly even build resiliency. Lastly, speaking of space, huge shout out to my in laws for helping build and house the Bee Hive while it was being built and my lovely neighbors for housing the library on their front lawn as we live in a carriage house across the street. Upon reflecting on those that have given so much to help with this project, I reflect on how much of our lives are lived separate from each other and I am hopeful that the more folkx apply for the Small Neighborhood Grants, the more community connection will be created, like it has in my own neighborhood. Thank you Nanaimo Foundation for all the work you do to create change for the better in our communities!

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