The Seed Library

The Edmonton Public Library's Seed Library is a community project that connects Edmontonians with seeds and information to get growing.

The Seed Library offers a collection of free seeds that you can borrow, grow, and share. You can also access information on horticulture, seed saving, ecology and food systems. Visit this site regularly for updates.

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How the Program Works

How does borrowing work? 

  1. Browse the collection in person at the Stanley A. Milner Library and select the seeds you want to borrow. Seeds are organized first by type (vegetable, herb, flower, native plant, or tree/shrub) then labeled and stored alphabetically by common name in drawers in a vintage card catalog. You can borrow up to 10 packages per season
  2. Select your seeds and bring them to the Makerspace Service Desk on the second floor of our Milner Library to check out. The type and quantity of seed packages is constantly changing, so check back on another day if you do not find the seeds you are looking for.
  3. Plant and enjoy! 
  4. Consider saving your seeds to share back with the library. 

We also encourage you to grow your seeds using organic gardening methods. Happy seeding!

Photo of the drawers that hold the seed at The Seed Library

Seed Donations

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All seeds in our collection are donated by individuals, organizations and businesses. Consider donating seeds or bringing some seeds back to share with others.

We happily accept the following:

  • Commercial seed packages, unopened or leftover.
  • Seed you have harvested yourself that is clean and dry.
  • Seeds for vegetables, flowers, herbs, trees, shrubs, and native species.

We cannot accept:

Where possible, we prefer open-pollinated seed, since hybrid seed does not save true to type, and is not as useful for a seed library. We also encourage you to grow your seeds using organic gardening methods.

How to donate:

Seed can be donated at any branch of Edmonton Public Library. Place seed in a sealable bag and hand to staff at the customer service desk.

For seed you have collected yourself, or bulk seed, we ask that you also fill out a donation form with details about the seeds. You can print the form from our website, or ask EPL staff to print one for you.

For more information about how to participate or partner with EPL, contact us at Seeds@epl.ca.

About the Pilot

The Seed Library is a community project led by the Edmonton Public Library in partnership with local organizations to help connect Edmontonians with seeds and information about gardening.

This is a pilot program in its first year and offers a collection of free seeds that you can borrow, grow, and share. Seeds are available to browse and sign out at the Stanley A. Milner Library on the second floor near the Makerspace.

All seed is donated to the library. A starter gift of seed was donated to EPL in 2022 by community groups including Edmonton Horticultural Society, opens a new window, Edmonton Native Plant Society, opens a new window, Edmonton Seedy Sunday, opens a new window, Good Worm Gardens, opens a new window and Sustainable Food Edmonton, opens a new window.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

  • A Seed Library is a collection of seeds shared by a community. People can borrow seeds, grow and enjoy them, and then share back some of the seed for others to enjoy.  
  • Like the plants in our gardens, the Seed Library is always changing – as people borrow and share back seed. The best way to explore it is in person. You can expect to find vegetable, flower, and herbs seeds, as well as seeds from some native plants. The collection includes commercial seed packages, as well as seeds saved by Edmonton gardeners.

  • A collection of free seeds will be available at our Stanley A. Milner Library on the second floor near the Makerspace.

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