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Durham County Library Launches the Digging Durham Seed Library

Durham – Durham County Library will launch the Digging Durham Seed Library at Main, South Regional and Southwest Regional libraries on Wednesday, April 23. Library patrons will be able to “check out” seeds and then “return” harvested seeds once the growing season is complete.

“We’re so excited about the launch of our seed library,” said Joanne Abel, Durham County Library adult programming coordinator. “We have a great variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers that are ready for spring planting.”

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 library also held workshops in early April to explain the process of seed saving for residents interested in donating seeds but unsure of the process.

The seeds will be stored in old-fashioned card catalogs at Main (300 N. Roxboro St.), South Regional (4505 S. Alston Ave.) and Southwest Regional (3605 Shannon Road). Checkout is limited to four seed packets per patron, and additional information is available at each location with growing instructions for the seeds.

Patrons may continue to donate seeds at any library 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.

The program is co-sponsored by SEEDS, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and the NC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program. For more information, visit (shortened url:, or contact Margaret Anderson at 919-560-8592 or e-mail

Durham County Library encourages Discovery, connects the Community and leads in Literacy. As a department of Durham County Government, the library furthers Goal 1 of the county’s Strategic Plan by enhancing cultural, educational and creative opportunities. The library also furthers Goal 2 by improving the health and well being of all citizens and Goal 4 by promoting environmental stewardship. For more information about the library, visit

Contact: Gina Rozier
919-560-0151 or

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