Seed Library

Dane County Libraries: Growing more than readers

Seeds are available now!

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

Saving Seeds

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.

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.

In 2014 we have purchased seeds from Seed Savers and Fedco

2014 Seed Varieties
Basil Chives Peas
Beans Hot Peppers Sweet Peppers
Beets Kale Spinach (2)
Chard Lettuce (2) Tomatoes (2)

Lemon seedling by Tiny Banquet Committee

Borrowing Seeds

  1. Choose up to 5 packets of seeds to checkout, take home and plant
  2. You will receive instructions specific to your seeds on how to plant and save seeds
  3. Check out related programs at participating libraries
  4. Plant your seeds and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Returning Seeds

  1. Before harvesting your seeds review the specific instructions you received at  checkout.
  2. 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.
  3. Drop off your seeds at your library for  others to check out!

Help Resources:

  • UW-Extension Plant Health Helpline:

May-October there will be a Master Gardener who has gone through the PHA training in the office from 9-12:00, Monday- Friday to answer gardener's questions.  People who call when we aren't at the phone can leave a voice mail. We always call back.  There are times when we have to call back the gardener if we have to do some research to give the caller bona fide answers.  Gardeners can also email us which is very helpful for some questions because people can send email pictures.  The pictures are often very helpful.

Seed Saving Links:

Dane County Seed Library Brochure Page 1 and Page 2 (jpeg)

Dane County Seed Library Facebook page

Seed Donation Form (pdf)

Planting Instructions (pdf)

Fedco Co-op

Organic Gardening

Seed Savers

Participating Libraries

Dane County Bookmobile
Visit us at www.dcls.info for a complete schedule of community visits or call us at 608-266 9297

E.D. Locke Public Library

5920 Milwaukee St., McFarland, WI 53558, 608-838-9030 www.mcfarlandlibrary.org

Fitchburg Public Library

5530 Lace Road, Fitchburg, WI 53711, 608-729-1760

www.city.fitchburg.wi.us/departments/library

Goodman South Madison Library

2222 S Park St, Madison, WI 53713

608-266-6395 www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/goodman-south

Oregon Public Library

256 Brook St, Oregon, WI 53575, (608) 835-3656

Visit our website at

www.facebook.com/DaneCoSeedLibrary

Thank you

Funding for this program generously provided by the John A. Johnson Fund and an anonymous donor through the Madison Community Foundation.

 

Image: