Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Seed Lending Library: Where to Start

Where to Start: Choosing Seeds to Borrow, Grow, and Return



The HC Seed Lending Library is currently organized by alphabetical order of seed variety. The drawer label provides the following information: variety common name and botanical name, challenge level, and brief notes (for example, "great for containers"). You will also see symbols to help you decide which seeds you would like: Bee (attracts pollinators) | Fork & spoon (edible) | Flower (ornamental uses, although most of our varieties produce flowers which are edible AND nice to look at!)

Seeds labeled with "Low" challenge levels are a great place to start.

The seeds labeled "Intermediate" or "Advanced" require special planning. Often this is to ensure that the seeds that you harvest from these plants are true-to-type - meaning - you need to take extra steps to make sure that the seeds of the plant you're growing don't get pollinated by another plant, which may yield a hybrid, sterile, or inedible plant in just one generation. Please only borrow "Intermediate" or "Advanced" seeds after you have learned about isolating plants to prevent cross-pollination.

Easy Seeds

The plants categorized as "Easy" are mostly self-pollinating. The flowers have both male and female parts, so pollination occurs within the individual plant, not as a cross between plants. Seeds are reliably the same as the parent plant.

Aster, Daisy, or Sunflower Family (Asteracea or Compositae):

Allow the plants to flower, collect dry seeds

Pea, Bean, Legume or Pulse Family (Fabacea or Leguminosae):

Beans & Peas
Allow beans and peas to dry in their pods on plants before collecting and storing. 

Nightshade family (Solanaceae):

Tomato & Eggplant
Allow fruits to fully ripen. Seed must be separated from the flesh. Letting tomato pulp ferment in water for a few days will help. Seeds should be rinsed and dried thoroughly before being stored.

Intermediate Seeds

Coming soon!

Advanced Seeds

Coming soon!