Seed Library

The Seed Library of Canton:

Sowing Seeds, Preserving Heritage

What is a Seed Library?

The Seed Library of Canton is a seed lending library, not a seed bank or depository. We are located in the library and are open whenever the library is open. You must have a Cardinal library card in good standing to check out seeds. To return seeds, you will be required to fill out a seed library membership form. We provide free classes on organic gardening and seed saving, and you can borrow books from the library on these topics. 

When you borrow seeds, please plant them and then return the next generation of the seeds for others to borrow. We encourage beginning home gardeners to save seeds from the "super easy" and "easy" plants (i.e. tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peas and peppers). Please do not try to save seeds from plants in the "difficult" category (i.e. squash, cucumbers, corn) until you have more experience saving seeds.

Why start a seed lending library?

Humans have been saving seeds for over 12,000 years. However, in our culture, much of that knowledge has been lost over the last hundred years, along with significant biodiversity. When you grow and save your own seeds, you develop seed stock that is well suited to your climate, save money, and have quality control. When you participate in the seed library, you help create a culture of sharing and abundance.


Our mission is to increase the ability of our community to feed itself wholesome food by being an accessible and free source of locally adapted plant seeds, supplied and cultivated by and for Haywood County and nearby area residents. The Seed Library celebrates biodiversity through the time-honored tradition of seed saving, nurtures locally-adapted plant varieties, and fosters community resilience, self-reliance, and a culture of sharing. The Seed Library strives to fulfill its mission by focusing on:

  1. Establishing and growing a lending library of seeds held in trust for the members of our community
  2. Providing information, instruction, and education about sustainable organic gardening

Get Involved

  1. Tell your friends: Let your friends know about upcoming orientations and events and like us on Facebook. We want this resource to be available to all. To be added to the Seed Library partners email list, contact Jennifer Stuart at
  2. Donate seeds: The Seed Library can always use seed donations. If you have not saved and returned seeds, please consider doing so to help it remain self-sustaining.

Thanks & Recognition

Thanks to all the seed savers in the community that make this program possible. And, to the Friends of the Library for their generous support of all library programs.

More Information


The Canton Giving Garden

Located behind the Canton Library, the Giving Garden features raised-bed vegetable, herb, and flower boxes, as well as a certified Monarch Waystation. The garden is used to teach various aspects of gardening and to raise awareness of the monarch butterfly. The Giving Garden is an education oriented joint initiative of the Haywood County Public Library, the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Center, and the Master Gardener Volunteer Program.

The garden is generously supported by the Haywood County Friends of the Library and the Haywood County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association.


The garden is maintained by the work of volunteers. New volunteers are always welcome! For information or to become a garden volunteer please contact the Canton Library at 828-648-2924 or email Jennifer Stuart at

The Haywood County Public Library won a 2014 Community Pride Award for the Seed Library and Giving Garden.