The Seed Library opens on Thursday, March 16. Now in its 8th year, the Seed Library makes hundreds of different seeds available to community members at no cost. If you have a good harvest, bring some seeds back to help replenish the collection for the next year.

This year, about ten local gardeners donated seeds from last year’s crop. Additional seeds were donated by High Mowing Organic Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Hudson Valley Company, Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply, and Seed Savers Exchange.

Seed enthusiasts, including members of the Kent Garden Club, Portage County Master Gardeners, and students from Kent State University, met last month to repackage all of the donated seeds.

“We have about 1,500 seed packets this year,” says project manager Kristen Pool. “That includes over 20 different varieties of tomatoes and 6 varieties of sunflowers, among many other garden favorites and some more unique options, like Asian greens–and yes, we do have the famous Hobbs Goose Beans this year!” she adds.

Browse the Seed Library, which is housed in a repurposed card catalog near the first floor Information Desk, or see what’s available in the Growing Guide, which will be available online March 16. Check out up to 20 packets per season, no more than 2 packets of any variety. Fill out a Check Out form so we can keep track of how many packets go out. Seed packets are available first come, first served, and varieties are limited, depending on how many were donated.

Packaging PartyGiving out seed packets is a great service; but it’s not the only reason we are proud of our Seed Library,” Kristen says, adding that “the Seed Library also encourages the tradition of seed saving, nurturing locally-adapted plant varieties, and fostering a community culture of sharing.”

“Last week, I met someone who said that she got seeds from the Seed Library the very first year she tried gardening,” Kristen says. “She is now an avid gardener and a member of Portage County Master Gardeners, and I’m so happy that the Seed Library played a role in helping her discover the joy and magic of growing plants.”