The practice of saving seeds has been around for 12,000 years. However with the increase of biodiversity, this practice has been lost. This mission of the MCPL Seed Library is to collect, grow and share seeds with the community. The MCPL Seed Library contains a selection of vegetable, herb and flower seeds. Our selection changes throughout the year based on donations what what is returned. All our seeds are 100% organic and GMO-free unless otherwise noted on the package.
10 Benefits of Seed Saving
1. Increase your self-reliance.
2. Become closer to nature and the land.
3. Become a steward of diversity.
4. Save money on seeds.
5. Spread knowledge.
6. Establish ties to history.
7. Take control of your food.
8. Explore food history.
9. Show off your gardening skills.
10. Be part of the Middle Country growing and seed saving community!
Step 1: Borrow
MCPL cardholders may obtain four packets of seeds per month. The Seed Library is located on the public floor of the Adult Department and can be accessed anytime the library is open. After you’ve made your selection, please visit the Adult Reference Desk with your library card and let a librarian know which seeds you’ll be borrowing. For a current list of our seeds, click here.
We can also mail seeds to patrons who cannot come to the library. Patrons can select 4 packets a seeds per month to be mailed to their home, please use the following form to request seeds: https://tinyurl.com/MCPLSEEDLIBRARYREQUESTFORM. Seeds will be mailed out in 4-5 business days.
Patrons should make an effort to save seeds. If you’re a beginner gardener, please attend one of our virtual seed saving programs. We also have have a large selection of seed saving books you can check out! All gardeners should maintain good records and make sure everything is labeled when returning seeds.
Remember Seed Saving is fun and a rewarding experience!
Step 2: Plant & Learn
Now for the fun part: growing! Each packet is labeled with basic directions on how to grow the seeds. You can also visit the Seed Saver Exchange website for more detailed directions.
Throughout the year, we’ll have programs on seed saving, pest control, and growing tips. Visit the Adult Reference Desk or register online for these great programs.
Step 3: Return & Share
Collect seeds from your healthiest or tastiest crops. Seed saving envelopes are available at the Adult Reference Desk. You can also download and print our Seed Labels. Please include as much information about the crop as possible. The success of our seed library depends on good record-keeping. Seeds can be returned to the Adult Reference Desk at any time.
Cornell Cooperative Extension offers research-based support to gardeners with online horticulture leaflets, gardening schools and master gardener classes.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center an interactive site where you can search for New York native plants.
The Long Island Regional Seed Consortium LIRSC works closely with breeders, farmers, chefs, gardeners and other organization to spread the word about the importance of biodiversity, regional varieties and seed saving.
Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder allows users to look up, view a photo and read about the over 7,500 plants by scientific name, common name and/or selected plant characteristics.
NATIVE PLANT LIST for New York, Pennsylvania, and Northern New Jersey a “starter” list of native plants for New York, Pennsylvania, and northern New Jersey. It is intended for residential or commercial landscapers who want to create attractive and varied native landscape.
Seed Exchange is a nonprofit that conserves and promotes America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.
Suffolk County LibGuide Seed Saving and Seed Libraries highlights the importance of seed saving and provides tips and links to resources.
Universal Class offers online gardening classes including Introduction to Gardening, Vegetable Gardening 101, All about Herbs and more! Users must have an MCPL Library Card. New Users must create account with Universal Class prior to first time use.
Vegetable Seed Saving Handbook provides specific seeds saving instructions for common vegetables.