Rotorua Seed Library - He Kohinga Kākano at the Library


Rotorua Seed Library - He Kohinga Kākano opens at Te Aka Mauri

The Rotorua Seed Library He Kohinga Kākano has found a home at Te Aka Mauri, Rotorua Library. 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 great library resources and this community initiative that encourages sustainability.

Hester Jackson-Scott is the organizer behind The Rotorua Seed Library - He Kohinga Kākano. A keen gardener from the age of eleven, 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. Given that most gardeners have a natural inclination to share and help one another, it seemed like a brilliant idea 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, pumpkins 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! 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, in order 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 on the first floor and open to the public during Te Aka Mauri- Rotorua Library opening hours.


If you would like to get more involved email, or visit the Rotorua Seed Library Facebook group.

Page reviewed: 12 Mar 2021 2:24pm