How Does Your Garden Grow? Seed Saving Books and Tips

OPL has books to help you get started saving seeds.

Did you plant a garden last spring? Throughout the COVID-19 crisis many people decided to grow their own food for the first time. Others have been growing their own vegetables for years. Whether you're a novice gardener or a seasoned one, you may be interested in making seed saving part of your gardening routine. Seed saving is a way to keep the food supply in the hands of the people rather than large companies and it's also a way to help you save money. Oakland Public Library has books to get you started.

Seed Saving Starting and Saving Seeds The Seed Garden

Seed Swap Seed Libraries The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds

Saving seeds : a home gardener's guide to preserving plant biodiversity / Dan Jason

Starting & saving seeds : grow the perfect vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers for your garden / Julie Thompson-Adolf

The seed garden : the art and practice of seed saving / edited by Lee Buttala & Shanyn Siegel ; written by Micaela Colley & Jared Zystro

Seedswap : the gardener's guide to saving and swapping seeds / Josie Jeffery

Seed libraries : and other means of keeping seeds in the hands of the people / Cindy Conner

The complete guide to saving seeds : 322 vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruits, trees, and shrubs / Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough


Other Resources

There are many local resources available online to help you get started saving seeds.

Richmond Grows is presenting the following free seed saving webinar.
Seed Saving in a Time of Crisis
Monday September 14th from 6:00-8:00 PM.

Seed Savers also has a well organized website with seed saving tips and instructions.

You can find seed saving guides in English and Spanish at

A limited supply of seeds is available at the Dimond Branch and the Chavez Branch Seed libraries. If interested, stop by the Chavez or Dimond Branch during sidewalk pick-up hours to request seeds.

Seeds Available at Chavez Branch
Broad Fava Bean
Country Gentleman Corn
Crimson Clover
Gold Rush Bush Bean
Golden Bantam Corn
Grex Dry Bean
Mustard Nemfix
Red Clover

Swiss Chard
Wheat Foisy

Seeds Available at Dimond Branch
Bok Choy
Chinese Broccoli
Collard Greens
Swiss Chard

Finally, if you'd like to learn more about gardening and local gardening projects check out OPL's Gardening Playlist. Our most recent video features Farm Educator Marisa Johnson and Farm Manager Aaron de la Cerda of Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm Project in East Oakland in conversation with OPL librarian Jenny Rockwell.