News and Upcoming Events

October 2020

Harvesting Cucumber Seeds

It’s time to harvest seeds from your favorite vegetables. To harvest seeds from a cucumber (preferably from Seed Lending Library seeds), it must remain on the vine past the point where it is edible. It will change in color from green to yellowish, assuring it’s time to harvest. Scoop the contents of the cucumber into a jar, add filtered water, cover with a paper towel, and secure with a rubber band. Set the jar aside in a warm, sheltered spot to begin fermentation. Fermentation can occur in as little as one to three days and will be marked by the seeds sinking to the bottom and fuzzy mold growing on top. Once all your seeds have sunk, add additional water to clean them. Any debris or unviable seeds will float to the top, making them easy to skim off and discard. Rinse the good seeds a few more times, strain them, and place them on parchment paper to dry. Once dry, store the seeds in a closed jar or ziploc bag and label them for next year’s sowing. Stored in a cool dark place, cucumber seeds will remain viable for 10 years. This method also works for tomatoes. They will remain viable for about 6 years.


September 2020 photo of McAuliffe library front entrance with new planter

We are very happy to announce our newest addition to the Seed Lending Library.  We recently installed a raised bed planter on the walkway in front of the McAuliffe Branch Library.


This 16 square foot growing space will allow us to showcase some of the varieties we offer in the seed lending library, including several herbs that we will encourage patrons to pick as needed when they leave the library. The planter has been filled with soil and compost and will be planted with fall crops very soon.


Special thanks to those who made this opportunity possible: 

* The Seed Lending Library, a joint project of the Framingham Public Library and Transition Framingham, for continuing to expand their educational mission in our community

* The Framingham Community Gardens Working Group, a project of Transition Framingham, for helping to develop this idea

* Patrons Tony & Jemie Miceli for their generous donation that made this all possible

* Transition Framingham members Mike Croci and Brigitte Griffin for building and filling the bed



The Seed Lending Library Team
Framingham Public Library
Transition Framingham


  • Did you know that we have gardening tools available to borrow as part of our Library of Things? Anyone with a Minuteman card can borrow the kit from the main library for two weeks. It includes a transplant trowel, weeder, hand rake, cultivator/hoe, soil scoop, gloves, and a handy carrying bag. Ask Library staff for more information.
  • Take a look at our list of new books on canning and preserving in our catalog.


Samela Aguirre and Patrick St. Pierre of Transition Framingham explain the Seed Libraries in this brief video.


Seed Library Resources

Guidelines for Donations to the Seed Library

If you would like to donate seeds to the seed library there are seed bags and blank inserts located on the seed catalog at the main library and at the McAuliffe Library. Or you can give your seeds to library staff and we will repackage them. Thank you so much!

  • Save from healthy plants. Helps produce disease resistant plants.
  • Save from a number of plants. Gives the crop genetic diversity. The number depends on the type of plant. Self-pollinating plants like tomatoes requires a minimum of six plants. Cross-pollinating plants like corn require a much larger population.
  • Open-pollinated. Please harvest seeds from an open-pollinated variety.
  • Isolate cross pollinators. Isolation means preventing pollen from plants within the same species from co-mingling. This keeps the seed “true-to-type” so that it will grow the exact same plant again. Isolate varieties by planting them far enough away from each other. Check here for an explanation and a guide from Seed Savers Exchange.
  • Dry. Make sure seeds are dry before putting in bags.
  • Clean. Have seeds cleaned by removing as much of chaff as possible.
  • Label. Please fill in as much information as you can about the seed. Crop, variety, age, planting information.

Thanks again!

*Information for this guide was gathered from West County Community Seed Exchange in California and Round Valley Public Library in California.

What patrons have grown with our seeds