Featherston Growers member Kim Goodall. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

It’s a bank but not as you know it.

Keen gardeners from around Featherston can now take advantage of a seed bank located at the town’s Information Centre, where an array of seed varieties is available to the community.

The seed bank is the work of the Featherston Growers and is the brainchild of Kim Goodall.

Goodall developed her green thumb late in life, only starting about five years ago.

For her, starting the seedbank was about growing a more sustainable and resilient community.

Eighteen months ago she helped start the group which has quickly grown to include more than 330 members.

“The whole thing about the seed bank is that modern seeds are bred to last only one season.

“I’ve had a little seed bank for years. I thought I’d ask if there was one in town and all these gardeners said what a great idea.”

The seed bank operates on the basis that if you take some seeds, you also bring some back.

Those with green thumbs are welcome to take any of the dozens of plant varieties and plant them at home.

From whatever grows, they are asked to let the strongest plant continue until it seeds, then dry the plant before harvesting the seeds and returning them to the seed bank. The process helps strengthen the quality of
the plants in the seed bank.

Goodall’s knowledge of gardening grew under the guidance of Wairarapa gardening guru Helen Dew, who has also shared her seed collection and donated several varieties.

Goodall said the varieties of vegetable, fruit, herbs and flower seeds could be planted anywhere.

“A garden can even be in your kitchen,” she said.

Getting started was easy and came down to getting the basics right – sun, water and soil.

“It’s all about the soil. If the environment is right, the seeds will grow right,” she said.

While seeds from the wider Wairarapa community were welcomed, it was Goodall’s hope that there could be a seed bank in each of the region’s urban centres.

The seed bank is located in the inner foyer of the Featherston Information Centre.