Virginia Edwards, Coordinator for Sew & Sow Boxes, invites you to get involved with this
community project.

A Sew & Sow Box is a place where many of my favourite things meet: I love to sew and knit, and I may find thread and buttons inside. As a gardener, I may find veg or flower seeds inside. For an ‘eco-warrior’, it’s also a great place to look for resources for repairing, making, or growing.

The boxes, inspired by those free book libraries that pop up in former telephone kiosks or at bus stops, are a joint project between the Sewing Cafe Lancaster, Lancaster Seed Library, and FoodFutures.

They are hand-made from reclaimed wood, they are filled with spare haberdashery items (that’s the SEW part of the name), and with packets of spare seeds (that’s the SOW part of the name). They then operate on trust and generosity.

Usually, a business, or an organisation, will host a box, giving it a home, and keeping an eye on it. The idea is that anyone can take items they need from the box or donate any unwanted or spare sewing items or seeds. (We do not usually include needles, scissors, or pins for safety’s sake). The hope is that the boxes become a self-sufficient community resource.

Currently there are Sew & Sow boxes located on Scotforth Road, outside Single Step, in Scotch Quarry, and there is a set of drawers with a similar function in Lancaster Central Library – next to the Seed Library.

At Sewing Cafe Lancaster events, people often say they would like to become more involved with us. There are several ways that the Sew & Sow Boxes can help you to do just that. One simple way is to take any unwanted or spare haberdashery items or seeds to your nearest box. Another simple way is to check whether there is anything you need, whether it’s darning your favourite sweater, or growing a row of beans.

If you would like to become even more involved, you could volunteer to take joint responsibility for a box. This would involve checking regularly on your box as they can suffer from invasions of woodlice, from dampness, and occasionally from small acts of vandalism. They need topping up with supplies and so you can hone your scrounging/re-purposing skills here. Occasionally a box will need to be taken into ‘rehab’, to be dried out after winter, and re-waterproofed. If you do not have the woodworking skills to rehab a box, you may well know someone who does!

To get involved and support this project contact:

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