What seeds are available?
Due to our reliance on seed donations, our seed inventory varies from year to year and even through the course of a growing season. We always strive to offer a variety of open-pollinated vegetable, herb, flower, and native seeds.
When will seeds be available?
We will reopen our seed libraries at all Door County Library branches starting on March 20, 2023.
- If you are not already a member, fill out our online membership form (you only need to do this once).
- Starting March 20, you can go to your nearest library branch.
- Peruse the seed packet inventory and select your desired seeds. (To help maintain our seed library, we ask that you only take the seeds that you will plant in your personal garden.)
- Plant your seeds in your garden.
- Grow a bounty of vegetables and flowers and share with your friends and neighbors!
Although there’s no requirement to save and return seeds, we encourage everyone to learn basic seed saving techniques.
Where to pick up your seeds
- Door County Library, Baileys Harbor
- Door County Library, Forestville
- Door County Library, Egg Harbor
- Door County Library, Ephraim
- Door County Library, Fish Creek
- Door County Library, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove
- Door County Library, Sturgeon Bay
- Door County Library, Washington Island
About our seeds
Our seeds come from several sources: 1) many have been generously donated by several seed companies, including Seed Savers Exchange, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, and Prairie Nursery; 2) we purchase our “core” seeds in bulk from various seed companies; 3) Seed Library members donate their harvested seeds back to the seed library at the end of the season; and 4) community members donate leftover commercial seeds. Seeds are packaged and prepared by volunteers for distribution through our seed lending program.
We freely distribute these generously-donated seeds to our community. These seeds may or may not meet germination or variety purity standards as prescribed for all other seeds that are sold in the state.
Open-pollinated vs. heirloom vs. hybrid seeds
We offer only open-pollinated seeds because as long as they are not allowed to cross-pollinate, they will produce plants just like the parent plant, who resemble THEIR parent plants. In other words, they are genetically stable. If open-pollinated seeds were dogs, they’d be considered the purebred variety (e.g., Labrador Retrievers); their offspring will look very similar to their parents.
Heirloom varieties are open-pollinated varieties that have been passed down from generation to generation. Most people define heirlooms as seeds that have been passed down for over 50 years.
All heirloom plants are open-pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms. Heirloom classification is time dependent; they have been grown for many generations.
Hybrids are seeds from two varieties of parent-plants that are genetically different, but of the same species. Hybridization can occur naturally through random crosses or through a controlled method where humans deliberately cross two different varieties. While you can save seeds from hybrid varieties, they are not stable, so you will get all sorts of interesting plants the next year that will be considerably less vigorous. In the dog world, hybrid seeds would be considered ‘mutts.’ You never know what their offspring will look like.