Seed photo by Mitch Mandel.
Welcome to our brand new location of the King County Seed Lending Library! Created as a resource for gardeners to share seeds with each other in West Seattle by "checking out" packets of seeds at the beginning of the growing season, then saving some seeds at the end and "checking them back in". The seed library offers seeds, literature, tools and more for free to local residents.
Location and information:
The Healing Tree
3225 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Thursdays from 2-8pm
The seed library is free, open to all, and does not require a membership. We are thankful for generous donations of seeds over this past year from Territorial Seed Co., Baker Creek Seeds, Winter Sown Seeds, West Seattle Nursery and all the people who attended the seed swaps and donated from their own seed stashes! With the money we collected at the seed swap we were able to buy containers for the seeds, and we have literature available on how to use the seed library, save your own seeds and more!
Questions? Contact organizers Katie@SeattleFarmSchool.com or Krista@TerraganicsLiving.com.
Do you want to start a seed library in your neighborhood?
Here are the basics:
- Location: Find a business in a busy area that has regular open business hours and is willing to host the seed library. Coffee shops, library, office buildings, community center, etc. It is helpful if the location of the seed library is near the front door. Set seed library hours with them. For example, our seed library is in a health and wellness office that is open every day. We set our seed library hours for a few days a week with scheduled evening hours.
- Cabinet/bookcase/dresser, etc. to hold all the boxes of seeds and materials.
- Smaller containers to hold seed packs. We purchased plastic ammunition boxes because the plastic shoe box containers were too long to fit in our cabinet. They should be relatively airtight to protect the seeds from big fluctuations in moisture/temperature. Get enough to sort seeds by type. Ours are sorted by: Flowers, Fruits & Herbs, Tomatoes-Peppers-Eggplants, Beans & Peas, Leafy Greens, Corn & Squash, and Other Veggies. Sort yours however it makes sense.
- Clipboards or page holders for the following documents Check in/Check out, How to Use the Seed Library, and Urban Garden Planning and Seed Saving Guide. These documents will help your users learn how to use the library!
- Pens, pencils and Sharpies.
- Small baggies or envelopes for making smaller sized seed packs.
- Any additional information or gardening books you wish to share (mark the books "Property of XX Seed Library, please do not remove). Keep it simple and it will make it easier for both the users and administrators!
- Seeds! Write letters or emails to local seed companies that are committed to growing and selling non-GMO seeds. We were able to stock our library with seed donations from Territorial Seed Company, Baker Creek Seeds, Winter Sowers seeds (we paid $25 for a large pack of seeds), Seed Savers Exchange (check out and join their Community Seed Resource Program) and West Seattle Nursery. The rest of our seeds came from the community at our spring seed swap. Ask your community for donations of partially used or unused seed packs.
- Communication & Events: Work with the local paper, blogs, and social media networks to get the word out about your seed library. Most people are unfamiliar with how they work (or that they even exist) and you'll want to explain yours briefly in each communication.
- We kicked ours off with a Grand Opening on a Sunday afternoon for 2 hours and had over 30 people join us! We provided small refreshments and were there to answer any questions people had.
- Each spring we host a community Seed Swap to get people excited about gardening, share seeds and collect seed packs for the seed library.
- Each fall host a Seed Homecoming - a day to donate seeds of vegetables, herbs and edible flowers that people have saved during the gardening season.
- Sit back and enjoy the great gardening community you are growing! Thank you for starting a seed library for your neighborhood. It is so important to have localized seeds readily available to anyone wanting to grow their own food and flowers!