What is a Seed Library?
A seed library is a collection of seeds available for lending to the community. Users “borrow” (or take) seeds from the library to grow food and flowers. After harvesting mature seeds, people may “return” (or donate) seeds back to the seed library. Seed libraries facilitate a connection to the Earth and to the past – humans have been saving and sharing seed for over 10,000 years! – and help to raise awareness about the importance of genetic diversity, regional adaptability, and seed stories.
BPL’s seed library hopes to aid the conservation of local and heirloom varieties while encouraging patrons to grow their own food, be outside, share with the community, and have fun.
Why Save Seed?
- Save money by saving seeds to grow next year.
- Learn how to grow from seed to harvest to seed saving.
- Seed saving is a sustainable practice.
- Planting, growing, harvesting, and saving seeds is a way to give back to the community.
- Helps local cultivators.
How to Borrow Seeds
- Seeds for browsing are located in the Adult Services wing, across from the reference desk.
- Seeds also can be requested online. Tap BPL Seed Library to place an order.
- All packs of seed have enough seed to:
- With larger seeds (like beans) grow 4-6 plants.
- With smaller seeds (like lettuce) grow a good crop or two
- Select the seeds you would like to grow.
- Take photos of your progress and tag them on Instagram with #bplseedlibrary
- Please limit your selection to 10 packets to help get more seeds to more of the community.
- Take your seeds home and grow, grow, grow!!!
How to Save Seeds
- At harvest time, please save a plant of each variety for seed. The more seeds that we save, the more members of the community can participate and experience the joy of growing their own food and saving their own seeds.
For more information on how to save seed from specific plants tap Seed Saver Exchange.
MI Seed Library Network has information about seed saving and Seed Libraries across the state.
Michigan Wildflower Farm on identifying Wildflower Seedlings
Hudson Valley Seed Co blog A Gardening Checklist for August
Great Lakes Echo article on Michigan Seed Libraries.
MIgardener blog Garden Creatures: Soil Mites
Locally donated seeds now available:
- Calabash (large bottle)
- Pink Petticoat Columbine
- Purple Columbine
- Rose Star Columbine
- National Pickling Cucumber
- Bronze Fennel
- Oakleaf Lettuce
- Common Milkweed
- Swamp Milkweed
- Japanese Giant Red Mustard
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Red Radish
Thanks to those who have donated seed!
Seeds in the seed library that are ideally for starting during August
Free Two-Hour Parking in Chester Street Deck
Metered street parking around Library
Free Parking on Sundays
Monday – Thursday: 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.
November 22: Closed at 5:30 p.m.
November 23-24: Closed