How to Get Free Vegetable and Flower Seeds from an Unexpected Place

Free garden seeds
Photo: furtwangl

Cicero said “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Some libraries have found a unique way to combine both.

Librarian Ken Greene had a strong personal interest in preserving heirloom seed varieties when he had a “novel” idea (pun intended). In 2004, he created the first seed library at the Gardiner, New York public library, adding a variety of open-pollinated seeds to the catalog so that patrons could “check them out,” plant them in their home gardens, and then “return” some of the saved seeds at the end of the growing season.

Today, more than 150 like-minded libraries offer seed borrowing programs; some even loan gardening tools. Isn’t that cool?

Find a state-by-state list at Richmond Grows Seeds. If a library in your area isn’t on the list, visit for seed-saving resources and to connect with grassroots seed-saving organizations around the world.

Happy planting!

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

2 thoughts on “How to Get Free Vegetable and Flower Seeds from an Unexpected Place”

  1. Pingback: The Yakezie Carnival with The Wealth Gospel
  2. This is a super cool idea! There are not many seed libraries in Georgia where I am, but I hope it becomes more popular and that are organic varieties!


Leave a Comment