Skip to main content

McHenry County Extension Master Gardeners Launch Seed Library

(WOODSTOCK, Ill. – ) Ever heard of a Seed Library? Much like borrowing a book, gardeners can “borrow” seeds in the spring with the promise of collecting seeds from mature plants and “returning” those seeds in the fall.

The University of Illinois Extension McHenry County Master Gardeners recently launched their first Seed Library from their office at 1102 McConnell Road, Woodstock. The “library” is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. McHenry County residents can obtain these seeds at no cost, with the idea that in the fall they can “return” the seeds by collecting seeds from this season’s bounty to replenish the library for the next year.

“We have devoted an entire bookcase for the seeds that we have this season for you to ‘check out.’ We also are excited to see what types of seeds we will get back in the fall,” says Brenda Dahlfors, program coordinator of the U of I Extension McHenry Co. Master Gardeners.

The library is organized by vegetables and flowers, both annual and perennial. The system is organized alphabetically and there is a list of the seeds that the library has available.  Due to COVID restrictions, borrowers can review the list of available seeds the library has, but borrowers cannot go through the seed packets themselves.

After borrowers review the list of seeds that the library has available, they can make their selection with the help of a volunteer. Please only request the number of seeds you plan on being able to use. You can take an entire packet, if one is available, or ask for a specific number of seeds. Then you will fill out a “library card” form as you wait for your seed requests to be collected. Be sure to let the volunteer who is working with you know if you plan to return seeds from the plants that you grow, or if you want to donate seeds from other plants you may have.

            For more information, email Brenda Dahlfors at or call the U of I Extension McHenry County office at 815-338-3737.



SOURCE:  Brenda Dahlfors, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Program Coordinator in McHenry County


WRITER: Michelle Walsh, Office Support Associate, University of Illinois Extension in McHenry County


ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois

by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and

community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes

and opportunities.


University of Illinois •U.S. Department of Agriculture •

Local Extension Councils Cooperating

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities

in programs and employment.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in an Extension program,

please contact our office.