Here is a special story about some seeds that were donated to the BCPL Seed Library by a long-time patron who says she's been a seed saver for 20+ years. Shortly after the new library building was built, a man by the name of Joel "Taz" Puckett built a terraced garden along the back of the library property, by what is now the library's parking lot.
At the time he built this garden, he was 85 years young! He was a generous man and gave her produce from his garden, and they struck up a gardening friendship. She remembers helping him pick okra on the hill. He grew a particular yard-long bean, that had been grown, and seeds saved by his mother in Arkansas, as early as the late 1880s. Since a young boy, Taz had saved seeds from his mother's plants, and grew them in his own garden. And, those seeds have been passed down to the library, for the new Seed Library!
Some might remember Taz and his garden from years ago, because he was a very friendly man, and as his son told us, he never met a stranger. If you'd like to read more about Taz and his garden, The Maryville Daily Times wrote an article about him June 28, 2007 called Growing Strong: Puckett's Garden Blooming Despite Harsh Weather
The patron who donated the yard-long beans also donated seed descendants of Taz's marigolds. She says she plants them every year near her tomatoes to repel aphids. The yard-long beans have always done well for her, and she even won a 2nd place prize at the Tennessee Valley Fair with them a few years ago! Seeds are a living heritage, and through the library's Seed Library, Taz's garden will continue to flourish!
Joel "Taz Puckett (2009)
Taz and his long yard beans in the Terraced Garden at the Back of the Library Parking Lot