Community Seed Library

Three pictures combined show hands holding seed packets, the Community Seed Library logo, and an open card catalog drawer filled with seed packets

The Community Seed Library is a self-service seed sharing library provided by JMU Libraries, and available to all. No library card necessary!

We provide seeds for vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We prioritize heirloom or open-pollinated seeds and plants that are well-suited to growing conditions in the Shenandoah Valley. We also strive to provide culturally relevant seed types, recognizing the diverse populations and gardening knowledge of our neighbors across the Valley and their plant traditions.

Two Locations

Visit the Community Seed Library in downtown Harrisonburg or on JMU’s campus.

  • Carrier Library at James Madison University: cabinet in the main lobby (to the right of the service desk)
  • Massanutten Regional Library (Central Branch): cabinet on the 2nd floor next to the reference desk (past the children’s section)
Two people browse through seeds packets stored in card catalog drawers

Borrowing Seeds

  1. Browse seed collection: Seeds are organized by plant families.
  2. Complete envelopes: Using the Seed Stamp, stamp and fill out a separate envelope for each type of seed you plan to take.
  3. Take what you need: Put seeds in envelopes. Take 2-3 seeds for every plant you intend to grow this season.

Donating & Returning Seeds

  1. Plan ahead: Read the Community Seed Library’s How to Save Seeds Brochure, or consult our other resources to the left.
  2. Plant and harvest: Let some plants go to seed. Save seeds for yourself and the Community Seed Library
  3. Complete envelope: Using the Seed Stamp, stamp and fill out a separate envelope for each type of seed you are returning. Include as much information as possible
  4. File: Place seeds in the cabinet alphabetically by family behind the proper divider.

Mission

Community Seed Library logo

The Community Seed Library encourages community empowerment and supports food sovereignty by providing:

  • free access to seeds for all
  • programming to share knowledge and skills related to growing gardens and saving seeds
  • relevant resources and information

History & Funding

The Community Seed Library was co-founded in 2020 by Liz Chenevey and Sarah Pritchard, along with enormous support and help from various people within the Libraries. It is funded by gifts from donors to the JMU Libraries. Generous gifts from JMU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and lovers of libraries everywhere make projects like this possible. To learn more, or make a gift, visit www.lib.jmu.edu/giving.

Contact

Questions or comments? Contact the Community Seed Library at seedlibrary@jmu.edu.