New! Native Seed Library at the GHL

The SLNC Government Heritage Library has started a free seed library – also known as a seed exchange – to promote gardening for plants native to North Carolina and the region.

What is a seed library?

Seed libraries are a community resource, fostering a culture of shared sustainability and promoting the joy of gardening. Functioning much like traditional libraries, seed libraries provide a platform for individuals to acquire seeds for free, return unused seeds, or donate seeds harvested from plants grown from the original seed. Seed libraries encourage the growth of organic produce, supporting local ecosystems, and contributing to biodiversity. Seed libraries not only promote healthy activities like gardening but also play a crucial role in sustaining food sources and preserving native plant varieties. Many seed libraries prioritize heirloom and native seeds, nurturing plants that serve as vital habitats for birds and essential pollinators, while also combatting the spread of invasive species.

What is the Government and Heritage Library (GHL) Native Seed Library?

The Government and Heritage Library (GHL) Native Seed Library focuses on native seeds for plants that are indigenous to North Carolina and the surrounding region. Native plants play a crucial role in supporting native species and maintaining the balance of an ecosystem. By concentrating on native seeds, the GHL Native Seed Library aims to support the growth of plant varieties existing in the region before European settlement, which contribute significantly to the local food web and have established beneficial relationships with native insects, microbes, birds, mammals, and other indigenous species. These native plants are uniquely adapted to the region’s specific climate conditions, including sunlight, temperature, precipitation patterns, and soil composition, making them an invaluable asset in promoting sustainable and resilient gardening practices within the local community.

How do I access the Government and Heritage Library (GHL) Native Seed Library?

  • Visit the GHL in person at 109 East Jones Street Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
  • Seeds are available for free on a first-come basis.
  • The types of seeds available to take for free may change throughout the seasons and depending on donations from the community.
  • Visitors may take two packets per person.
  • The library will also gladly accept donations of seeds for plants that are native to North Carolina and the region. The NC State Extension lists native seeds in their Extension Gardener Handbook.

The following resources are also great places to look through for more information on seed libraries:

Happy gardening!