Free Seed Program

Every year, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation donates expired but still viable packets of Burpee® seeds to URI Cooperative Extension. Families, individuals and organizations in Rhode Island are invited to place seed packet orders for the cost of shipping and handling. 

2024 Free Seed Orders

The ordering period for free seeds is now closed. If you missed submitting an order, please visit your local library or any of our Gardening Information and Soil Testing (GIST) exhibits ( to grab seeds through our program. Mark your calendar for December 2024, when we anticipate releasing the order form for the 2025 program

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  • Orders are open from December – January annually, only.
  • Incomplete, incorrect and late order forms will not be processed. 
  • Seed supplies are limited – order early!
  • Orders are filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Seeds are for personal use only; resale is prohibited.


Why are the seeds available for free?
The URI Free Seed Program is made possible annually through the generous donation of expired, unsold seed packets from Ocean State Job Lot stores throughout the Northeast.

When can I submit an order?
Each year, the order form is available in December through mid-January for individual, family and organizational orders.

What if I missed the order deadline?Seeds are available at most libraries across the state, and at our events. Check out our upcoming event calendar!

Can I pick up my order?
Only non-profit organizations, schools, churches, and community gardens may pick up seed orders (see order form for pickup dates). All other orders will be sent by mail for the cost of shipping and handling. See the order form for pick-up locations.

What if I can’t pick-up my order on the pick-up days scheduled?
You may send a check for the cost of postage (see order form for rates) and we will mail your seeds to you!

Can I submit a seed order if I live out of Rhode Island?
No. Due to a limited supply, seeds are available to Rhode Islanders only.

Are the seeds genetically modified?
From the Burpee website: “We do not sell seed that has been genetically modified (GMO). Burpee has never bought or sold GMO seeds, and we have no intention of doing so in the future.” For more information, please visit the Burpee website.