Seeds, Resurrected

Seeds, Resurrected

There was no missing the intricate tree-branch teepee in the Evaluation Garden at Heritage Farm last summer. Sure, it towered high above the spectacular garden, which showcased a mix of flower, vegetable, and grain varieties from the Seed Savers Exchange collection. But that wasn’t the main reason the teepee captured the rapt attention of so many visitors—and birds and butterflies too.

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Amy LeBlanc: Seed Saver, Preservationist, Educator

Amy LeBlanc: Seed Saver, Preservationist, Educator

What does it mean for Seed Savers Exchange to be a member-supported nonprofit? You probably think first of the annual donation a member may make to the organization, but there are many ways Seed Savers Exchange members have not only contributed to the organization, but also impacted the heirloom seed movement in their own communities. Amy Frances LeBlanc, a SSE member since 1996, truly embodies the mission of SSE to promote and preserve our garden heritage.

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Citizen Scientists Make a Difference at Seed Savers Exchange

Citizen Scientists Make a Difference at Seed Savers Exchange

The 2018 Citizen Science Corps, consisting of 80 Seed Savers Exchange members, helped us take another giant step forward in preserving our collection. A total of 62 members participated in the ADAPT program, while 29 took part  in the RENEW program—and some members did both. We are tremendously grateful for the passion and dedication that drives our member volunteers to help us pursue our mission.

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Doing the Seed Savers Exchange Time Warp

Doing the Seed Savers Exchange Time Warp

I still recall the excitement and anticipation of planning my very first real garden in 1981. My wife Susan and I, recently married, learned that graduate students at Dartmouth (where I was mid-degree) could pay practically nothing for a community plot in West Lebanon, New Hampshire, just a few minutes’ drive from our residence.

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Introducing SSE’s New ‘From the Collection’ Varieties!

Introducing SSE’s New ‘From the Collection’ Varieties!

You may well know that Seed Savers Exchange maintains an exquisite, unique collection of more than 20,000 vegetable, herb, flower, and fruit varieties amassed since its founding more than 40 years ago. But did you know that each year our Preservation team regenerates, evaluates, and collects the histories and traits of dozens of these varieties as we grow them at Heritage Farm, our northeast Iowa headquarters? This work allows us to identify interesting and high-performing varieties to introduce in our catalog so that home gardeners everywhere may enjoy them. We are thrilled to introduce the following 12 varieties, available for the first time this December both online and through our 2019 catalog.  

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The Barn at Heritage Farm: Renovation (Almost) Complete!

The Barn at Heritage Farm: Renovation (Almost) Complete!

The questions flew quickly as an inquisitive group of local fifth-graders filed into the iconic barn at Heritage Farm this past September and stared into tubs of fermenting heirlooms tomatoes, excited to learn all they could about how to process tomato seeds: “What is an heirloom tomato?”... “Why are the tomatoes fermented?”... “How do you remove all the seeds?”

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