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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI, Job Lot giving away 100,000 packets of seeds

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

URI, Job Lot giving away 100,000 packets of flower, vegetable, herb seeds
to schools, youth groups, community gardens

KINGSTON, R.I. – February 14, 2007 – Box upon box of flower, vegetable and herb seed packets line a long series of tables in a greenhouse at the University of Rhode Island’s East Farm, just waiting for local youth groups and community gardeners to put them to good use.

One-hundred thousand seed packets of more than 100 varieties – 36 different types of vegetables, 14 kinds of herbs and 52 flowers – are available for free thanks to the generosity of Ocean State Job Lot, which donated the seeds to the University to distribute.

“For nearly 10 years, Job Lot has donated seeds they don’t sell the previous year, and we’re so happy that they do,” said Cathi Cote, a URI Master Gardener and Cooperative Extension educator who coordinates the project. “Seeds are labeled for a certain year and can’t be sold the following year, but there’s nothing wrong with them. If you’re careful about how you store them, seeds can last for many years.”

A team of 20 URI Master Gardeners spent 10 hours over three days sorting the bumper crop of seeds, which arrived on three pallets.

Any youth group or community group in Rhode Island is welcome to as many packets of seeds as they can plant. Individuals who want to plant vegetables to donate to food pantries are also encouraged to request seeds, as are nursing homes, community gardens and others interested in doing good deeds in the community.

The deadline for ordering seeds is March 5.

To receive an order form to request seeds, call the URI Cooperative Extension Education Center at 401-874-2900. Seeds can be picked up free at URI. Those requesting that the seeds be mailed will be charged $1 for every 10 packets requested.