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Seed Exchange

Information on Seed Exchange for Durham College/Ontario Tech users.

A New Year of Growing

Another Year of the Seed Exchange program

Thank you to all donors and participators of the Seed Exchange Program for your support. The program will resume on both the North Oshawa campus and Whitby campus on March 18th, 2024. Please kindly bring your extra seeds to the library on either campus if you would like to donate them.

We'd like to express our gratitude to the Faculty of Hospitality and Horticultural Science of Durham College for their generous donation of seeds.


For thousands of years, people have cultivated gardens. Until recent times saving seed from the previous year’s crop to plant the following season was an essential part of the process. Today many people are enjoying the return of the seed saving tradition.

Seed saving is important because you:

  • Develop seeds that become acclimated to our local climate
  • Grow plants that are more pest resistant
  • Save money on seeds and plants
  • Know the origin of your food
  • Become less dependent on large food producers

How It Works

The seeds initially selected for this pilot fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Heirloom variety
  • Container gardening friendly
  • Native
  • Attract pollinators / beneficial insects

Donations of corn, soy, canola, rose seeds or any controlled substance are unacceptable.

Participation is free, but it is asked that you not only save seeds for yourself, but the Library as well. When you return or donate seeds to the collection it allows the project to remain sustainable through future growing seasons.


  1. Choose up to 5 packets of seeds to sign-out (in the binder), take home and plant.
  2. Note instructions specific to your seeds on how to plant and save.
  3. Plant your seeds and enjoy!


  1. Review the specific instructions for viable harvesting of seed.
  2. Collect and dry seed. Set some aside for yourself to use next year, and some to return to the Library.
  3. Drop off your seeds at the Library for others to check out! Record in the binder what you have provided.

The Seed Exchange is located at the Service Desk at North Oshawa Campus Library, as well as the Social Science, Humanities and Education Library at downtown Oshawa (Charles Hall, 61 Charles Street).


Are all the seeds organic?

The seeds labelled as such were acquired from sources that are certified organic. Users are encouraged to practice organic growing methods and to be as accurate as possible when providing information on their seed donations. There is no guarantee that the seeds donated by community members are organic.

What if I can’t return seeds?

It would be appreciated if you return a small portion of whatever seed you are able to save. You will not be penalized if you are not able to return seed, but it is the community that will keep this a self-sustaining service.

What seeds do you have?

The contents of the seed library are in a continual state of flux. Please visit the library to choose available seed.


All images from

Creative Commons License

This guide was created by Ontario Tech Libraries and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License, except where otherwise noted. 

Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License

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