MADISON, Wis. -

A handful of libraries across the state now allow residents to share seeds.

A Wisconsin State Journal report says patrons can take home heirloom seeds, plant them in their gardens and then return to the library at the end of the season with seeds generated from the original plants.

The La Crosse Public Library began a seed program in February following a year of research and planning. Spokeswoman Kelly Becker says the program was popular because people are becoming more interested in local-food initiatives.

Since its launch, the La Crosse seed library has shared more than 600 seeds.

At least three other libraries in Green Lake, La Farge and Wonewoc have similar programs. Additional libraries in Madison and Mount Horeb are studying the possibility.