Seed Lending Library

Hayward Public Library’s Seed Lending Library operates as a community seed exchange in which borrowers are able to “check out” a wide variety of vegetable and flower seeds to plant in their gardens for home use.
A hand holding a sprouted seed

Potted plants and a hand placing a garden label

Become a Member

  • All skill levels welcome
  • No cost to join
  • Become a member of the Hayward Seed Lending Library to check out seeds

Getting Started

Volunteer with the Seed Lending Library

We need volunteers to:

  • help process donated seeds
  • organize the seed catalog
  • help organize garden workshops and community events

To get involved, complete a volunteer application form.

A hand holding a green tomatoYour Financial and Seed Donations Help!

Without a strong base of diverse seeds, food production is threatened by disease and climate change.

If you have out-of-date, excess seed inventory, or are willing to grow crops for the specific purpose of cultivating seeds for the Hayward Seed Lending Library, we will put the seeds to good use. While our primary emphasis is on vegetables and herbs, we also stock California natives and flower seeds that attract natural predators to control garden pests, or seeds that attract bees and butterflies to promote pollination.

Please identify the common name, scientific name, variety, year, seed source, and any other pertinent information with your donation. Include your name and contact information with the donation to receive an acknowledgement of your in-kind tax-deductible contribution. Send your donation to the address below, to the attention of the Hayward Seed Lending Library.

Financial contributions are also helpful, to help us purchase supplies and materials to maintain the Seed Lending Library. Make your check out to our fiscal sponsor, the Friends of the Hayward Public Library, with an earmark for the Seed Lending Library, and send it to the Friends at 888 C Street  Hayward, CA 94541. All contributions to the Friends are tax deductible. 


  • The goal of the Seed Lending Library is to increase the capacity of Hayward community members to feed themselves and their families wholesome food with education and resources that foster community resilience, self-reliance, and a culture of sharing.

  • The program promotes open-pollinated vegetables and fosters a greater understanding of the value of biodiversity through free seed-saving and gardening workshops.

  • Seed-saving demonstrations often incorporate vegetables grown from the Seed Lending Library’s very own rooftop garden.


The Hayward Seed Lending Library exists in large part because of generous support from the following organizations and volunteers who have provided critical resources and shared their knowledge and expertise to create and maintain this valuable asset in Hayward.

Primary Organizational Sponsors

Special Thanks

Rebecca Newburg, Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library, for sharing great ideas and resources that we tailored to create our own program, and whose leadership continues to spark the development of seed libraries throughout the country.

Gail Barchfeld and Nancie Ryan, Alameda County Master Gardeners, who have shepherded the Seed Lending Library from the start, organizing every aspect of the program.

Additional Thanks

Alameda County Master Gardeners: Ruth Kuftin
Alameda County Office of Education/Project EAT: Chris Boynton, Deb Israel, and Deb Jelincic
Bay Area Seed Interchange Library (BASIL), Berkeley, CA
California State University East Bay Greek organizations
Hayward Unified School District: Robin Gallagher, Director of Food Services
Kaiser Permanente, Community Benefits Program: Rikki Kiefer