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Seed Library

Seed Library

At the Fort Bragg Library

499 E Laurel St

Fort Bragg, CA. 95437




handful-of-seedsWhat is a Seed Library?

The seed library is a depository of seeds held in trust for the members of the Mendocino County Library. Members come to the library and borrow seed for their garden. They grow the plants in their home garden and at the end of the season, they let a few of the plants go to seed. From those plants, they collect seeds and return the same amount of seed (more or less) as they borrowed at the beginning of the growing season.

Seeds are free to members.

Why should I save seeds?

When you grow, save and share seed you are:

  • Increasing the genetic diversity of seed stock
  • Developing seed stock that is more resilient and better adapted to the local climate and soil
  • Perpetuating the knowledge and culture of seed saving
  • Providing seeds to others in our local community

Are you new to seed saving?

Start with seeds that are labeled as green. These are easy to learn the basics of seed saving. Beginning seed savers should start with green beans, dry beans and peas.

Moderately difficult and advanced seeds require special planning to preserve the purity of the variety or may have a more difficult gathering process.

If you return seeds to the library without taking certain precautions, they will not produce plants that are true to the original type of seed.

How do I find seeds?

Seeds in the catalog are listed alphabetically first by their common name and then by the variety.

There are dividers for each type of plant containing information about the plant’s seed saving difficulty level.

  • Green label indicates easy to save seeds
  • Yellow label indicates moderate difficulty to save seeds
  • Red label indicates more difficult to save seeds

pat-at-round-valley-seed-libraryHow do I borrow seeds?

Fill out your membership form and turn in to the library desk. The member’s seed record is attached to the membership form. Each time you take seed, information will be entered into your member’s seed record. This will track what seeds you have taken and what seeds should be returned at the end of the growing season.

Make sure all information is filled out on the seed envelope of the seeds you want to borrow. Good record keeping is essential to the success of the program.

The Seed Library will work only if we know the identity and origin of the seeds we lend.

How to return seeds:

It is important that seeds coming back into the collection are grown and saved properly. Plant and harvest, let some of the plants go to seed. Save seed for yourself and the Library. Write down all the information for the seed you want to donate before you bring them into the Library. This information will be added to your Member’s seed record. Place your seed envelopes in the incoming seed basket.

Please note: 

Fort Bragg Seed Library is a free, lending library of seeds for private, individual use. Seeds and/or plants from the seed library are not to be used for resale.

Fort Bragg Seed Library receives seeds from a variety of donors and cannot guarantee seeds are non-GMO or organic nor can we guarantee they will germinate. 

Reading list:

The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food – Janisse Ray

The Organic Seed Grower: A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production – John Navazio

Organic Seed Production and Saving: The Wisdom of Plant Heritage – Bryan Connolly

The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetable, Herbs, Fruit, Flowers, Trees and Shrubs – Robert E Gough

Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners – Suzanne Ashworth

For more information:

Seed Savers Exchange

Global Seed Network

Organic Seed Alliance

UC Master Gardener Program – Sonoma County -Saving Seeds

NCO Garden Project

Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens