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Welcome to Haywood County Public Library: Seed Library


The Seed Library of Waynesville: Sowing Seeds, Preserving Heritage

What is a Seed Library?

The Seed Library of Waynesville 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

There are lots of ways to get involved. Here are just a few:

  1. Promote the library: Let your friends and community know about upcoming orientations and events and join us on Facebook. If you have particular ideas about how to reach out to the community, help us out. We want to make this resource available to all.
  2. Volunteer: We need volunteers to help with various aspects of the Seed Library. Please contact Kathy Olsen at if you are interested.
  3. Donate: Besides cash donations, we need supplies. If you are writing a check, please make it out to the Friends of the Library and write SEED LIBRARY in the memo line. If you would like a tax-deductible receipt for your donations, please pick one up at the circulation desk.

Thanks to the Richmond Grows Seed Library for all its assistance, ‘Buy Haywood’ for it’s support and partnership, Sow True Seeds for generous donations, and the Friends of the Haywood County Public Library for their generous support of all library programs!

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