Dane County Libraries
Growing more than readers
What is a Seed Library?
For thousands of years people have cultivated gardens enjoying the fruits of their labor. Until recent times saving the previous year’s seeds to plant the next crop was an essential part of the process. Today many people are enjoying the return of the seed saving tradition.
Seed saving is important because you:
- Develop seeds that become acclimated to our local climate
- Grow plants that are more pest resistant
- Save money on seeds and plants
- Know where your food is coming from
- Become less dependent on large food producers
By participating in the seed library you are helping to create a culture of sharing and community. Saving seeds leads to a sustainable future for your community and your garden. If you already save seeds consider contributing to our seed library.
Borrowing seeds from the seed library is FREE! However, your contribution to your community is priceless. Gardening allows you to become more self-sufficient, eat more nutritious food, and save money.
To participate in the seed library we ask that you not only save seeds for yourself but also for the seed library. When you return seeds to the seed library they will be cataloged and other community members can check them out.
The greater number of seeds that are returned to the seed library the greater the number of community members who can benefit.
- Hot Peppers
- Sweet Peppers
How It Works
The seed library will start with these seeds because they are fun and easy to grow for beginner seed savers. These seeds tend to produce plants that are like what you planted and are self-pollinating. The seeds are generally easy to harvest and dry.
- Choose packets of seeds to checkout, take home and plant
- You will receive instructions specific to your seeds on how to plant and save seeds
- Check out related programs at participating libraries
- Plant your seeds and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
- Before harvesting your seeds review the specific instructions you received at checkout.
- Once the seeds are collected and dried set some aside for yourself to use next year, fill out the information on the labeled envelopes, and place the seeds inside the envelope with the barcode.
- Drop off your seeds at your library for others to check out!
- Don’t worry if you have a crop failure, there’s no penalty for failing to return seeds. Return the barcode envelope if possible!
Funding for this program
generously provided by the
John A. Johnson Fund
and an anonymous donor through the
Madison Community Foundation.