The seeds of 38 different plants — from asters to four kinds of tomatoes — were available for free during the Hastings Farmers’ Market on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Members of the Hastings Pollinator Pathway Committee set up a table at the market and offered the seeds to promote the planting of vegetation that attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
Committee member Katie Tolson collected the seeds from community members and packaged them into small paper envelopes. The labels on the envelopes included QR codes.
If scanned with a smart phone, the QR codes yielded information about the plants, including growing instructions. Most were flowers, herbs, and vegetables, in addition to one grass — Little Blue Stem.
The list of plants was posted on the Hastings Pollinator Pathway Project website (hastingspollinatorpathway.org). The project also has a Facebook page and an Instagram account.
The website includes a map of pollinator gardens in Hastings, a calendar of events, and details about the Village of Hastings’ adopt-a-spot program, which allows residents to plant gardens on public property. So far, there are seven adopted spots.
Tolson, the director of trusts and estates for the auction house Bonhams, and a resident of Hastings since 2016, plans to start a free seed exchange at the Hastings Public Library after it reopens to the public. The library is closed due to the pandemic.
For her own garden, Tolson plans to soon sew seeds indoors for spring vegetables such as kale, lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard, and to cold stratify seeds of native plants before she puts them into the ground.