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.
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.