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USF Seed Library

The USF Seed Library is a joint project of the USF Urban Agriculture Program and Gleeson Library | Geschke Center. All USF students, faculty and staff are welcome to use the seed library. It is located on the first floor of Gleeson Library, just beyond Thacher Gallery.

How to use the USF Seed Library

Borrow Seeds

  1. Grab a “My Seed Library Log” sheet: provide your name and email address.  You will use this log every time you borrow or bring back seeds.
  2. Select seeds: seeds are shelved in the cabinet alphabetically by plant name. On your “My Seed Library Log,” write down which seeds you are borrowing. Place your log in the return bin.
  3. Plant your seeds.

Return Seeds - Optional! 

  1. Collect and dry your seeds, and bring them back to the library. You can donate any seeds, not just seeds collected from seed library plants.  Please bring only organic, open pollinated (non-hybrid, non-GMO) seeds.
  2.  Label your donations with plant name & variety, year harvested, and origin of where the seeds were grown. Blank labels for returned seeds are in the bin near the seed library cabinet.  Place returned seeds in the “Seed Return” bin.
  3.  Update your personal log in the USF Seed Library Log (the 3-ring binder). Logs are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Seed Saving Resources

Books and Videos at Gleeson Library

Urban Farmer helpful planting tips for veggies, herbs, and flowers

How to Collect, Process, and Store Seeds seed saving instructions for common plant varieties (from the Center for Food Safety's Global Seed Network)

Seed Saving Resources seed growing and saving instructions for common plant varieties (from the Seed Savers Exchange)

Guide to Seed Saving cross-pollination risk and seed saving tips, courtesy of Sow True Seeds

Seed Viability handy chart from Clear Creek Seeds for estimating how long seeds remain viable

Map of Bay Area Seed Libraries

USF Community Garden

Located between Lone Mountain and the Education Building, the USF Community Garden is a living laboratory for students, faculty, and staff interested in sustainable agriculture.

Contact the USF Seed Library

For questions about the USF Seed Library, please contact

David Silver, Environmental Studies Faculty and Director
Debbie Benrubi, Technical Services Librarian
Carol Spector, Government Information/Reference Librarian


Many thanks to Sloat Gardening Center, Berkeley Bowl West, and Hudson Valley Seed Company for their generous contribution of seeds to our seed library! Thanks also to the many USF students that have helped keep the seed library running and contributed their creativity.