Library Plants Seed Library

You know you can check out books, DVDs and CDs at your local library, but did you know you can check out a garden? With the launch of the new Digging Durham Seed Library at Main, South Regional and Southwest Regional, library patrons can now “check out” seeds and then “return” harvested seeds once the growing season is complete. Seed varieties include tomatoes, peppers, beans, flowers and more. Since February, the library has been collecting seeds from local gardeners, farms, community organizations and businesses, including Baker Street Seeds, Monticello, SEEDS, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, NC Tomato Man (Craig LeHoullier) and Stone Bros. & Byrd. The seeds are stored in old-fashioned card catalogs at the three locations. Checkout is limited to four seed packets per patron, and growing instructions are available at each location. Seed availability is first-come, first-served while supplies last. To keep seeds in stock, the library is accepting new seed donations at every location. Donors should place the seeds in an envelope, with their name and contact information, as well as the history of the seeds, including how they are linked to the donor’s family, house or farm and the plants they produced. While all donations are appreciated, the library is especially focused on open pollinated and/or heirloom flower and vegetable seeds well-suited for Durham’s climate. The library will accept hybrid seeds usually sold at retail garden centers, although these types of seeds can only be used for growing, not saving. Donors may also give already opened seed packets if they have been stored in a cool, dry environment and are less than two years old. Durham County's seed library recently earned coverage from TakePart. Read that piece here. For more information, please contact Joanne Abel at 919-560-0268, email or visit


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