Ottawa Seed Library (OSL)

Ottawa Seed Library Network (OSLN)

The Ottawa Seed Library program is like a regular library but for borrowing seed. 

Seed libraries are places where community members can “borrow” seeds! Garden residents can access seeds through the Ottawa Seed Library free of charge.  

All that we ask is that community members save seeds and “return” the seeds at the end of the season to replenish the library, so future participants are able to continue participating! 

The Ottawa Seed Library is intended for:

  • beginner seed savers
  • home gardeners
  • community gardeners

Workshops pertaining to improving seed saving skills will be offered periodically to ensure that all participants are well supported to produce seeds from their crops. 

Successful participants will produce more than enough seeds from their crops to plant the same variety for many years – and still have enough left over to share with family and back to the Ottawa Seed Library!

We are currently seeking volunteers to join a fantastic volunteer team.  No experience is required. Coordinators are primarily expected to assist in arranging times for seed distribution & returns. Want to get involved? Email

Growing Guides

These guides will help you with saving seeds for specific varieties. There are many great resources out there. The most accessible guide at this time is How to Save your own Seeds form Seeds of Diversity.  Our guides are derived from their resources – if you would like the guide itself you can purchase it at the Seeds of Diversity website here.

Ottawa Seed Library Presents:  How to Clean your Seeds Workshop

In this video workshop participants will learn techniques for cleaning and processing common vegetable seed varieties – specifically Beans, Lettuce, Squash, and Tomatoes. Drying threshing, winnowing, screening, fermenting, record keeping and the storing of seeds are all topics that will be covered. Participants will be able to use this knowledge for a whole host of vegetable and flower varieties that will quickly turn you into a Seed Saver Extraordinaire! Participants will also learn what to do with your seed that is to be returned to the Ottawa Seed Library.

Past Newsletters

May 9, 2020
April 22, 2020
April 2020
March 14, 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
September 25, 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 23, 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 21, 2019
May 2019
April 20, 2019
April 2019
March 2019
January 2019
October 2018
September 2018

This program would not be possible without the generous support of:

Ottawa Public Library
Your Credit Union

Thank you for your support!


Start-up Farm Program

Just Food established the Start-Up Farm Program to support new farmers in the Ottawa region. By offering access to land, shared infrastructure/equipment, and training, the program aims to enable more people in this region to start their own successful farm business.

> Read More about Just Food’s Start-up Farm program