SeedLibraryLogo2The practice of saving seeds has been around for more than 12,000 years. Through the Seed Library, The Kent Free Library hopes to encourage the tradition of seed saving, nurture locally-adapted plant varieties, and foster a community culture of sharing.

Borrowing Seeds

The Seed Library will open for the 2024 growing season on Friday, March 15.  You may check out up to twenty (20) seed packets per year, including no more than two (2) packets of any one variety.  The seed packets are stored in a card catalog near the Information Desk, organized by common name and variety. There is a form at the Seed Library for you to complete each time you borrow seeds.

Donated seeds have been sorted, packaged, and labeled by library staff and volunteers.  Packets will contain an appropriate quantity of seeds for a typical backyard garden.

To select seeds, browse the Growing Guide for available seed packets and information about the variety, the level of difficulty to grow, and level of difficulty to save seeds.  Please note supplies of seeds are limited and first come-first served.  Not all varieties may be available throughout the planting season.  For more detailed information about a particular variety or for a photo, refer to library books, seed catalogs, or seed company websites.

Donating Seeds

We are currently not accepting donations of seeds.  Donations for the 2025 growing season will be accepted starting September 1, 2024.seeds3

If you’re a beginner gardener, don’t worry about saving seeds at first. Focus first on having fun and learning how to garden–the seed saving part will come later.

Experienced gardeners are encouraged to return seeds. Seeds must be from open-pollinated, non-genetically modified, non-hybrid and/or heirloom plants that are not listed as invasive species by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.  Collect seeds from your healthiest or tastiest plants. Seeds should be saved according to best practices.  Seeds should be cleaned of all debris, completely dry, and in a sealed clear plastic bag.  Complete a Donation Form and bring them to the Information Desk.

Seeds should not be returned to the library unless the grower knows how to properly save them.

seeds2Kent Free Library reserves the right to refuse or to dispose of donated seeds that do not have a completed Donation Form; are not identified by variety; are a hybrid or non-heirloom variety; are an invasive species or noxious weed; are not appropriate for growing in Northeast Ohios; show signs of moisture or mold; contain impurities such as stems, petals, pods, etc.; or are suspected of not being grown according to best practices for obtaining a true variety (eg. likely cross-pollinators were not grown in isolation).

seeds5Partners and Volunteering

Thanks to the volunteers who helped packaged seeds, including those from Portage County Master Gardeners, Kent Garden Club, and Kent State University.

Thanks to businesses and organizations that have donated seeds:

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

High Mowing Organic Seeds

Hudson Valley Seed Company

Mission Statement

seeds1The Seed Library of Kent Free Library will encourage the tradition of seed saving, nurture locally-adapted plant varieties, and foster a community culture of sharing. The Seed Library will focus on the following two activities:

  • Establishing, growing, and curating a depository of seeds available to all Portage Library Consortia card holders at no cost.
  • Providing information, instruction, and education about sustainable gardening.

Information about Seed Saving

Check the Library Catalog for books about seed saving.