Did you know that you can check out seeds at the library? The Digging Durham Seed Library offers vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that you can take home and plant. You can take seed packets each season, and if you grow seeds, you can donate them for others to check out. By providing both a repository for seeds and training for the folks who plant them, the seed library helps to improve local sustainable food sources, enhance food security, develop local biodiversity, and boost Durham’s foodie culture.
The Digging Durham Seed Library is sponsored by the Durham Library Foundation.
How it works
Seeds are available at these Durham County Library locations while supplies last:
- Main Library
- East Regional Library
- North Regional Library
- South Regional Library
- Southwest Regional Library
- Bragtown Branch Library
- Stanford L. Warren Branch Library (temporarily closed)
You will find seeds at each location along with a brochure with resources on how to plant and care for them. The seed libraries are typically stocked mid-February through October. Different types of seeds are available throughout the growing season – available seeds may include vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Seeds are available first-come, first-served while supplies last.
You are welcome to take four seed packets per season. You don’t need a library card to use the seed library.
Donating seeds is a great way to get involved with this unique project. If you grow open pollinated seeds, please save some from your harvest and bring them back to the library! This will help the Digging Durham Seed Library continue to grow and to develop seeds well-adapted for Durham’s soil and climate.
We accept donated seeds throughout the year at every location. To donate, place the seeds in an envelope with your name and contact info, as well as the history of the seeds, including how they are linked to your family, house, or farm, and the plants they produced.
While we appreciate all donations, the seed library is especially focused on open pollinated and/or heirloom flower and vegetable seeds well-suited for Durham’s climate. You may also donate already opened seed packets if they have been stored in a cool, dry environment and are less than two years old.
If you want to help out more with the seed library, you can volunteer with tasks like sorting and packing seeds. Keep an eye on our events calendar for upcoming sorting sessions, or get in touch for more info.
- NC Cooperative Extension Gardener Handbook (online)
- NC Cooperative Extension Gardener Handbook (at the library)
- NC Cooperative Extension’s Central North Carolina Planting Calendar for Annual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs
- NC Cooperative Extension’s Top 25 Native Pollinator Plants for North Carolina
- Durham Master Gardener Blog
Get in touch!
Jess grew up in Durham, exploring and photographing downtown and in the surrounding woods and countryside. Prior to becoming a librarian, they ran a farm with their partner and maintained another business supporting small businesses and social justice nonprofits with website creation and coaching. As the STEAM Services Librarian, they strive to foster equitable, inclusive, and accessible spaces for both plugged and unplugged creativity, innovation, and fun. Jess also loves plants, baseball, astrology, zines, comics, and the Fast and the Furious Saga.