Seed library

A community seed sharing project to help gardeners grow and share open-pollinated, heirloom and local seeds.

The Darebin Seed Library is a community seed-sharing project that aims to build local seed diversity and food resilience. It helps gardeners to grow and share open-pollinated, heirloom and local seeds in the community, and is part of Darebin Council’s Sustainable Food program.

Northcote Library is the newest Seed Library location, where you can borrow and return seeds in a contactless way.

Our Seed Library relies on gardeners and seed savers returning seeds at the end of the season. Seed donations are always welcome and can be dropped of at any Darebin Libraries branch. For all seed donations, please include the name of the seed and the date seed was saved. 

How does it work?

Borrow: Borrow a maximum of 3 seed packets per household and register your loan using the forms available, to be placed in the dedicated registration box .

Grow: Take your seeds home and grow them in your garden or at your Community Garden.

Save: Leave at least one plant to go to seed at the end of the season.

Return: Return saved seeds to the Seed Library to continue the cycle and register the returned seeds using the registration form, to be placed in the dedicated registration box.

What type of seeds can I give to the Seed Library?

Only organically grown, open-pollinated, heirloom and local seeds should be returned to the library.

"Open-pollinated seeds" are pollinated by natural mechanisms, such as by insects, winds, or birds. They are more genetically diverse and slowly adapt to their surroundings over time. You can save these seeds because they produce “true-to-type” plants like their parents.

"Heirloom seeds" are typically distinguished by their old age and history of being passed down within a family or community. As a result, heirlooms are adapted to a specific climate and offer a distinct flavor or look. Heirloom seeds are open-pollinated, which means you can save their seeds among other things.

"Local seeds" are seeds from Victoria, and are adapted to our climate.

Other Seed Library locations in Darebin

Alphington Community Centre - 2 Kelvin Grove, Alphington

Newton Street Community Garden - 9 Newton Street, Reservoir

Sylvester Hive Community Garden - Corner of Dean and Gray Streets, Preston

Jika Jika Community Centre - 1B Plant Street, Northcote


Visit the Darebin Food Harvest website to find out what's happening at the seed libraries, local food swaps and markets, and any upcoming events.