Seed Library

The Seed Library is a collection of vegetable, flower, herb and grains seeds that you can request from the lbrary to plant and grow for your garden.  Our seed collection depends on donations and seasonality.  A varierty of seeds are available for your growing garden.

Order your commercial seeds here:

Order locally donated seeds here at the Community Seed Exchange:

For information about your free seeds, refer to the donating company on your seed packet. Then scroll down and pick the link for that company to look up your variety of seed on the company website.

Follow us on Instagram @RSCLSeedExchange to see what’s new in the Seed Library.  We also post regularly on the Roaring Spring Community Library Facebook page.

For questions, volunteer information, feedback about your seeds, or special requests please email us at:

What is the Seed Library?

The Seed Library at the Roaring Spring Community Library was created to promote gardening and food security.  It serves residents of Blair, Huntingdon, and Bedford counties.  Residents of these counties may order seeds from the Seed Library order form, and pick up their order from a library of their choosing within those counties.  All seeds are free.  There are two types of seed libraries within the RSCL, and each has a different source of seeds.  The Seed Library offers seeds from commercial seed companies, and the Community Seed Exchange Library offers seeds from local gardeners who have saved their seeds and donated them back to us.  The seed libraries are separate, and each has its own order form.  

Seed Library Rules

Each household is limited to two (2) seeds requests per year. A household is defined as anyone living in your home. (due to limited inventory).

If we run low on seeds or if we get backlogged with requests, we may suspend the Seed Library service and announce future availability when it occurs.

If a household cannot place their own order we require an individual living in that household to call the library (814-224-2994) for assistance in placing their own order.

We ask that you only place your order for your household. This allows our limited inventory to be used by many households. 

Should you have any questions or need assistance with your order please contact the Library (814-224-2994) or email

Who pays for the Seed Library?

The 2024 seed library has been made possible through grants from UPMC Foundation as well as donations from the following seed companies:

American Seed Co.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Bentley Seeds

Bounty Beyond Belief


Eden Brothers


Harris Seeds

Charles C. Hart Seed Co.

High Mowing Organic Seeds

Hoss Seeds


MFRE – Mississippi Foundation for Renewable Energy

Peaceful Valley

Territorial Seed Company

Seed Savers Exchange

Sow Right Seeds

Victory Seeds

Grant money pays for supplies for the library, such as envelopes, office supplies, ink stamps, printing and paper, and additional in-demand seeds.  

What kinds of seeds does the Seed Library offer?

Seed donations come directly from the seed manufacturers, and typically include seeds that have not been sold within their “sell by” date.  Since many seeds retain good germination rates beyond this “sell by” date, we are able to offer them for to local gardeners for free.  Most seeds are from the previous selling season, and a few are from the year before that.  Not all seeds are “expired” seeds, however.  Some companies donate fresh seeds, or even gift cards to order from their current stock.  The Seed Library receives a large variety of seeds, from flowers and vegetable, to herbs and rare varieties.  We have many varieties that you may not have even heard of, and offering a sample of these seeds provide many people with an opportunity to try something new that they may not have tried otherwise. 

Who operates the Seed Library and what do they do?

The seed library is run by volunteers through the Roaring Spring Community Library, as well as volunteer support from Penn State Extension Master Gardeners program.  Volunteers request donations, write grants, inventory seeds, organize seed catalogs, manage online information, post social media, and fill orders when the library opens.  The bulk of the volunteer work, however, is repackaging seeds into new, smaller envelopes for wider distribution of the seed supply.  The Seed Library would not be possible without the help of all of the volunteers who offer their time to the community gardeners that utilize this service.  Each year we grow, we need the help of more volunteers.  Seed volunteers get first access to our library selection each year, and are able to get some of the rare or limited quantity seeds that don’t make it to the general seed library selection.  

How do I get involved with the Seed Library?

If you would like to help with the seed library, email us.  

How do I order seeds?

All orders for seeds are placed through an online google form (see links at the top of this page). You may choose up to 25 different seed packets/varieties using this form.  It will require your name, email, phone number, and your desired library location for pick up.  Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to ship seeds to users.  We ask patrons to limit seed orders to 2 per year for each library (4 total).  Because of the high demand for certain seed varieties, the seed of your choice may be unavailable by the time your order is filled.  If this happens, we will substitute another comparable seed variety if we are able, based on your answer in the order form concerning substitutions. If you order more than 25 varieties, we will choose which 25 you receive. We currently only offer 1 packet per variety.   Special requests may be honored by emailing us.  

What does the information on my seed packet mean?

When you receive your order, your seed packets will most likely be hand-written by someone who has repackaged your seeds.  Your plant name will be at the top, with the variety labeled underneath.  At the bottom of the seed packet you will see the company that the seed originated from.  This information is the most helpful if you are looking for directions on how to plant the seed and care for the plant.  Links to all of the donating seed companies above are the best route to finding your seed packet information.  All seed packets, starting in 2024, will also have the year stamped or written on every packet.  This information indicates the seed is new to the seed library for that year, and does not necessarily mean it was harvested for that year.  If there is no year, it is a variety that we have left from the previous year.  If your seed is organic, it will have “organic” stamped on it, as well as “heirloom” for heirloom varieties.  Some seeds have special requirements, such as “pre-soak seeds” or “refrigerate seeds” stamped on them, which mean you will have better germination if you follow these methods prior to sowing. Another stamp “surface sow needs light to germinate” indicates the seeds must be planted on the surface to grow.  Although we do our best to get each variety stamped if needed, we recommend you refer to the companies instructions for each variety prior to planting.  Most of our seeds from this year will have photos of the seed packets available online.  Visit the Roaring Spring Community Library Facebook page and view Photo Albums to find these photo collections.  If you cannot find the photo you are looking for, email us at to see if we can locate the seed packet for you.  

How many seeds are in each packet?

When we receive our company donated seeds, we try to decide how we can serve the most gardeners with that supply of seeds, while still giving each individual gardener a good harvest from that quantity of seed.  Seeds varieties that are plentiful are filled more heavily than rare varieties.  Some plants, like pumpkins, will have fewer seeds in them when compared to other plants, like spinach or lettuce.  We expect that our gardeners will use the entire pack of seeds for the current growing year.  If you did not get the germination you expected, or simply didn’t get enough seeds of a particular variety, you may put in an email request for an additional seed packet.  We appreciate this information, so we can adjust seed quantities in the future, or for that particular variety.  Let us know if you simply couldn’t get your seeds to germinate.  We will try to figure out why, and get replacement seeds for you.  

How do I determine how to grow my seeds?

If you are growing something new that you may be unfamiliar with, we recommend that you look at the company on your seed packet, then use the company link above to search for your specific seed.  We also have photos of many seed packets available on the Roaring Spring Community Library Facebook Photo Albums.  Seed information on either the photo or on the company website will direct you on how to plant your seeds.  For seeds from the Community Seed Exchange, we recommend you do a little research prior to planting your seeds.  Many seeds from this library will have special planting needs, such as cold stratification (many natives require this).  Winter sowing also is useful for many of these native seed varieties.  Other things to keep in mind when sowing seeds:

Pre-soaking seeds prior to planting (eg. peas, parsley, New Zealand Spinach)

Surface sowing seeds that need light to germinate (eg. mints, some carrots and lettuces)

Deeper sowing for seeds that need dark to germinate (eg. sunflowers)

Using heat mats for warmer soil temperatures (eg. tomatoes and peppers)

Refrigerating seeds prior to planting (many herbs and some natives)

Starting seeds indoors to ensure plentiful harvests 


What is the Seed Exchange Library and how is it different from the Seed Library?

The Seed Exchange Library is a different selection of seeds, donated exclusively from our local gardeners.  They harvest their own grown seeds, and donate them to us in the fall for distribution the following season.  This is our first year offering seeds of this type, so we encourage you to look at our selection of seeds.  

Why is the Seed Exchange Library important?

Offering local seeds is a great way to promote plant diversity, instead of relying only on seeds from a few commercial companies that dominate the industry nationally.  This seed supply is more sustainable, being totally free and not relying on requested donations.  Since the seeds are free, we are not required to test the seeds for purity or germination rates.  Because of this, we cannot guarantee that your ordered seeds will sprout, or turn into the plant labeled on the package.  This also means that you may be pleasantly surprised with the seeds that you received.  

What types of seeds are donated to the Seed Exchange Library?

We are currently accepting all types of flower seeds. We prefer HEIRLOOM varieties of vegetables, since they produce seeds that will be “true” to the parent plant.  We do not accept HYBRID varieties of either plants, since seed offspring typically vary greatly, and in some cases are intellectual property of the seed company that produced them.  

How do I donate seeds to the Seed Exchange Library?

Please email us for information on how to donate your seeds to us.