The 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.
Community members are invited to donate seeds harvested from vegetables, herbs, and flowers that they grow. 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. Kent Free Library reserves the right to refuse or to dispose of donated seeds that do not meet these criteria.
Once you’ve harvested and dried your seeds, bring them to the Information Desk in a sealed plastic bag along with the Donation Form. Donations for the 2021 growing season are no longer being accepted. Donations for the 2022 growing season will be accepted starting in October 2021.
Donated seeds will be 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.
The seed packets are stored in a card catalog near the Information Desk, organized by common name and variety.
The Seed Library will reopen for the 2021 growing season on Monday, 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. This limit is subject to change as the Seed Library expands.
There is a form at the Seed Library for you to complete each time you borrow seeds.
Experienced savers are encouraged to return at least twice the amount of seeds they originally borrowed.
Collect seeds from your healthiest or tastiest crops. Be sure to set aside some seeds for yourself.
Seeds should be saved according to best practices. Seeds should not be returned to the library unless the grower knows how to properly save them.
Partners and Volunteering
The Library is assisted in its seed saving program by Kent Food Not Lawns, the Portage County Master Gardener Association and Haymaker Farmers’ Market. Members of these groups assist with sorting, packaging, labeling, and organizing seeds donated to the library.
Members of these organizations also offer education programs at the library and are available to answer questions via email about harvesting and saving seeds for the Seed Library.
Thanks to businesses and organizations that have donated seeds:
Volunteers are needed for sorting, packaging, labeling, and organizing seeds. For information about volunteering, please check the box on the Donation Form.
The 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.