What is a seed library?
A seed library is as exactly as it sounds — we “loan” seeds to patrons to grow plants in their home garden. Similar to borrowing a book, the patron “borrows” seeds with the intention of harvesting seeds from their crop to return to the library for future lending.
Why a seed library?
A seed library brings many benefits to our community:
- Encourages patrons to sustainably grow and harvest their own food
- Supports and builds community among fellow gardeners
- Promotes new or reluctant gardeners to try their hand at growing
- Preserves open-pollinated or heirloom seeds
- Encourages patrons to grow and save seeds
What seeds do you offer?
Because this is a seed library, our collection of seeds grows each year with seed donations and community members “returning” the seeds they harvested.
Click here for a list of our 2023 seed offerings!
How do I borrow seeds?
With your Bensenville Community Public Library card, you may borrow up to five packets consisting of no more than two of each variety of seed. Each packet contains enough seeds to grow at least 3 plants. Please note that seeds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
How do I return seeds?
In order to continue and grow our seed library from year to year, we ask that you try to harvest and return seeds from your crop. Be sure to dry them, and store them in a cool, dry place until you can return them to the Library. We suggest that you save the packet from your borrowed seeds so that you have all the required information available when you return your seeds. Growing, harvesting, saving, and donating seeds cultivates a culture of sharing throughout our community.
What if I can’t harvest seeds?
There is no penalty for not returning seeds. However, we encourage any patron who borrows seeds to educate themselves on the practice of saving seeds. We do acknowledge that not all seeds will germinate, not all plants will survive, and therefore sometimes it is just not possible to return borrowed seeds.
Can I donate other seeds?
Yes! If you would like to donate seeds, please contact the Library. Keep in mind that the Bensenville Community Public Library only accepts open-pollinated or heirloom seeds.
Seed Saving and Gardening Books
For questions about our seed library, please contact Sue Feddersen, Assistant Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 766-4642.
2023 Seed Offerings
Below is a list of the BCPL Seed Library’s offerings for the 2023 season. Click on any seed for a photo and description; on that page, be sure to scroll down to “Links” where you can learn more about each seed’s growing information. You can also browse all of our seeds in the Library’s online catalog, by searching “BVD seed“.
With your Bensenville Community Public Library card, you may borrow up to five packets consisting of no more than two of each variety of seed. Please note that seeds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Bean: Calypso (Orca)
- Bean: Cherokee trail of tears
- Bean: dragon tongue
- Bean: Long Chinese Green Noodle
- Bean: tendergreen
- Beet: Detroit dark red
- Bok Choy: Suzhou
- Broccoli: waltham 29
- Cabbage: Earliana
- Carrot: Kaleidoscope Blend
- Carrot: nantes
- Carrot: new kuroda
- Cauliflower: Romanesco
- Cucumber: Chicago pickling
- Cucumber: marketmore
- Cucumber: muncher
- Cucumber: Mexican sour gherkin
- Flower, bachelor button
- Flower, blanket flower (gaillardia)
- Flower, calendula: pink surprise
- Flower, Cardinal climber
- Flower, Cockscomb (celosia)
- Flower, Columbine: William Guinness
- Flower, Cosmos
- Flower, dianthus (Sweet William)
- Flower, feverfew: white stars
- Flower, globe amaranth (Gomphrena)
- Flower, love-in-a-mist: Miss Jekyll
- Flower, Lupine: Russell Mixed
- Flower, marigold: lemon drop
- Flower, Mexican sunflower: red torch
- Flower, morning glory: grandpa ott
- Flower, purple coneflower
- Flower, Shasta Daisy
- Flower, snapdragon
- Flower, Strawflower
- Flower, sunflower: mammoth grey stripe
- Flower, Sunflower: Tarahumara
- Flower, sunflower: teddy bear
- Flower, tansy
- Flower, yarrow: double diamond pearl
- Flower, Zinnia
- Herb, basil: Genovese
- Herb, basil: lettuce leaf
- Herb, basil: lemon
- Herb, catnip
- Herb, chives: onion
- Herb, chives: garlic
- Herb, cilantro
- Herb, dill
- Herb, lemon balm
- Herb, Oregano
- Herb, Parsley: moss curled
- Herb, Parsley: Italian flat leaf
- Herb, Rosemary
- Herb, Stevia
- Herb, Thyme
- Kale: dwarf siberian
- Leek: autumn giant
- Lettuce: Parris Island cos
- Lettuce: rocky top lettuce
- Melon: sweet passion
- Mustard: Japanese giant red
- Okra: Silver Queen
- Onion: yellow sweet Spanish
- Pea: lincoln
- Pea: sugar snap
- Pepper: California wonder
- Pepper: jalapeno
- Pepper: Maule’s Red Hot
- Pepper: McMahon Texas Bird
- Pepper: mini bell mix
- Pepper: Nadapeño
- Pepper: poblano
- Radish: Cherry Belle
- Radish: Cincinnati Market
- Spinach: Bloomsdale long standing
- Squash, Acorn
- Squash, butternut
- Squash, pumpkin: jarrahdale
- Squash, pumpkin: musquee de provence
- Squash, spaghetti
- Squash, summer: lemon
- Squash, zucchini: black beauty
- Swiss Chard: Fordhook Giant
- Tomato: beefsteak
- Tomato: black krim
- Tomato: Isis Candy Cherry
- Tomato: Martino’s Roma
- Tomato: Mexico midget
- Tomato: purple Cherokee
- Tomato: sunrise bumblebee
- Tomato: yellow pear
- Turnip: Purple Top White Globe
- Watermelon: Blacktail Mountain
- Watermelon: sugar baby bush