LOPL Seed Library: Free Seeds for All
The LOPL Seed Library is your resource for gardening information and free vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. We seek to foster a culture of learning, community connection, resilience, and generosity by providing free access to open-pollinated and heirloom seeds; educating and connecting people through programming on horticulture, agriculture, and related cultural traditions; and promoting biodiversity and sustainability through the long-standing practices of seed saving and sharing.
Our vision is to collect seeds that are genetically diverse and adapted to thrive in the soils and climate of our region; to preserve the histories and cultural significance of these seeds whenever possible; to ensure that everyone in Lake Oswego has access to these seeds and stories, and to the tools and education they need to be successful growing and saving seeds; and to allow for genetically diverse seeds to continue circulating by encouraging users to return and share their own saved seeds and stories for the benefit of others.
How Do I Borrow Seeds?
The Seed Library is housed in a repurposed card catalog at the Fiction Desk on the Library’s main floor. (You can also find our Mobile Seed Library at select farmers markets and outreach events!)
- Locate a seed type you would like to try. Remove a small number of seeds from the packet (2-3 for every plant you would like to grow) over one of the provided trays to prevent spillage.
- Place these seeds in one of the provided coin envelopes, and label it with the plant name, variety, and any information you’d like to copy from the seed packet.
- Do this for each seed type you would like to try, using a separate packet for each. You are welcome to borrow up to 10 different seed types per day.
- Take the packets to the Circulation desk to check them out. A library card is required to check out seeds. The seeds you borrow will not show up on your account or be due back. We ask you to check them out simply so that we can track Seed Library usage over time.
- After “borrowing” seeds from the Seed Library, please consider returning saved seeds from your harvest to help grow and improve the Seed Library collection over time. Returning saved seeds is encouraged, but not required.
Online & Local Resources
- Luscher Farm
- Oregon Tilth: Planting Guide for the Willamette Valley
- OSU Master Gardeners: Gardening Resources
- Portland Nursery: Resources
- Seed Savers Exchange: Gardening and Seed Saving Tips
- Tualatin River Watershed Navigator: Grow Healthy Soil & Plants
We welcome your questions and feedback. You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that not all seeds may germinate or produce viable plants. (This is why we encourage you to take 2-3 seeds for every plant you wish to grow.) While we do our best to ensure seed quality, we also can’t guarantee that all saved seed donations from the public are open-pollinated or heirloom varieties.
Donors & Supporters
Thank you to our generous 2023 donors: Adaptive Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Portland Nursery, Snake River Seed Cooperative, Turtle Tree Seeds, Victory Seed Company, West Coast Seeds, and Winona Grange.
Special thanks to the following for their valuable support: Mike Carlson, Kiira Koester, Mark Pontarelli, Ledding Library of Milwaukie, Sandy Public Library, and West Linn Public Library.