The Seed Library at the Kent Free Library is now open for community members to “check out” seed packets.  Now in its third year, the Seed Library has over 1,500 packets of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds available.

Seed Library card catalog

About 40 varieties of seeds were donated by backyard gardeners in Kent, Brimfield, Ravenna, and other nearby towns.  Some donors included stories to go along with their seeds, like a farmer in Freedom Township who donated “Hobbs Goose Beans,” a soup bean purportedly discovered by a family member of late KSU Biology professor Clinton Hobbs.

These donations are supplemented with donations from High Mowing Seeds, an organic seed company in Vermont and the non-profit Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa.  Some types of seeds have a lot of different varieties available; for instance, there are 29 different varieties of tomatoes in the collection, including favorites like Rutgers, Paul Robeson, and Brandywine and some unique varieties, like Cherokee Purple, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, and Peach Blow Button.

Seed Library Packaging party

To check out seeds, visit the Seed Library on the first floor and browse the drawers or the ‘Grower’s Guide’ for varieties.  Pick out up to 20 seeds packets, then fill out a Check Out Form and return it to the Information Desk.  No library card is needed and all ages are welcome.

Growers who have a successful crop are encouraged to bri ng back saved seeds in the fall to help replenish the collection for the next year.  The Growers Guide indicates which plants are appropriate for beginning seed savers and which require more experience and skill,

Seed Library Packaging party

for instance those that must be isolated from other varieties or that need to be overwintered to produce seed to harvest.

The Seed Library is made possible with help from Haymaker Farmers’ Market, Kent Food Not Lawns, and Portage Master Gardeners.  Members of these organizations and other volunteers helped sort and package seeds and are available to give advice to gardeners about saving seeds.

For more information, please call Community and Special Services at 330.673.4414 or visit