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.

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.

Planting Calendars

Planting Times for San Francisco Bay Area from BASIL Seed Library at The Ecology Center

East Bay Planting Times from The Ecology Center

Planting Calendar from The Old Farmer's Almanac

What to Plant Now from Urban Farmer

Plant Hardiness Zone Map from the USDA

How to Grow a Plant from Seed

Growing Guides from The Old Farmer's Almanac

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners from The Old Farmer's Almanac

Starting Herbs from Seed from the Herb Society

Herb Growing Guide from Urban Farmer

Vegetable Container Gardening for Beginners from the Spruce

Container Gardening with Vegetables from the Old Farmer's Almanac

Container Gardening from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Seed Saving Resources

Books and Videos at Gleeson Library

Saving Seed from Your Garden: What You Need to Know is a really informative introduction to general concepts in seed saving, from the Seed Library at the Round Valley Public Library.

Easy Seeds for Beginning Seed Savers is a handy guide from the Seed Library at the Round Valley Public Library.

Seed Saving covers the very basics of what you need to know about seed saving, courtesy of the Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

A Guide to Seed Saving, Seed Stewardship & Seed Sovereignty is an open source, public domain zine created by the Seed Ambassadors Project - copy and share widely!

Seed Saving Guide for Gardeners and Farmers from the Organic Seed Alliance is an in-depth guide for everything you need to know about seed saving.

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).

Planting and Seed Saving Notes crop specific guides to a wide range of things you may want to grow, including seed starting, growing, harvesting and seed saving tips, courtesy of Sow True Seeds.

Seed Saving Chart from

Seed Saving Chart from the Seed Savers Exchange, includes basic information on plant species and families, and primary pollination method.

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

Other Seed Libraries

Bay Area Seed Libraries Map of local seed libraries

Sister Seed Libraries Directory of seed libraries worldwide

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

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


Many thanks to Sloat Gardening Center, Berkeley Bowl West, Hudson Valley Seed Company, Plenty, and Victory Gardens for Peace 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.

Video Corner

Seeds in Resistance

Food Chains

Seed: The Untold Story

(USF viewers only)


(USF viewers only)

Symphony of the Soil

(USF viewers only)

The Garden

(USF viewers only)

The Pollinators

(USF viewers only)