The story of Seed Savers Exchange

"In Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver, Diane Ott Whealy takes the reader gently by the hand and retraces a journey that began when her great-grandparents emigrated from Deuschendorf, Germany, and settled outside the tiny immigrant enclave of St. Lucas, in northeast Iowa. Two seeds that they carried with them on that journey became the motivation for a life’s work in preserving and protecting heirloom seed varieties..."


Join Diane at one of the following upcoming events:


January 23-26, 2013                            Pacific Grove, CA The 33rd annual ECO Farm Conference Talk: Seed Saving Art & Practice: Preserving our Vegetable Heritage 8:30-10:00 AM Book signing (Gathering) January 23, 2013 at 1pm in the Exhibitor Tent


February 10, 2013                            San Luis Obispo, CA Speaking/book signing/seed swap (Bringing seeds from SSE collection) San Luis Obispo Grange Hall The venue address is SLO Grange, 2880 Broad St., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


February 23, 2013                            La Crosse, WI Keynote 10:30-11:30AM La Crosse Public Library, 800 Main St, La Crosse, WI 54601


March 2, 2013                            La Crosse, WI Keynote, "Growing Heirlooms in Your Garden" Bluff Country Master Gardeners "Spring into Gardening Details


March 2-3, 2013                         Minneapolis, MN Speaking/book signing Minnesota Home & Garden Show March 2, 4:00 PM  "Planting and Saving Heirloom Seeds" March 3, 11:30 AM "Planting and Saving Heirloom Seeds" Details


March 16-17, 2013                         Harrisburge, PA Presentation & Workshop Slow Food Harrisburg March 16, 6:00-9:00 PM "The History of SSE" presentation March 17, 2:00-5:00 PM "Saving heirloom seeds" workshop


March 22-23, 2013                         Janesville, WI Presentation & Workshop Slow Food Harrisburg March 22, 6:00-8:00 PM Spring Garden Symposium book fair/celebration March 23, Rotary Botanical Gardens, Spring Garden Symposium


April 7, 2013                          Kennett Square, PA

Branching Out Lecture Series Details

Diane Ott Whealy is the Co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange (SSE). Founded in 1975 as a non-profit organization, SSE has more than 13,000 members, made up of gardeners, orchardists, chefs and plant collectors—all dedicated to the preservation and distribution of heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, grains, flowers and herbs. Diane currently serves as the organization’s Vice President. Regarded by many as the “Mother of the Heirloom Seed Movement,” Diane has been a national leader and strong advocate for the protection of the earth’s rare genetic food stocks for over 37 years. Her recently-released memoir, “Gathering,” is available in book stores throughout North America.

In 1986 Diane helped develop Heritage Farm, SSE’s scenic 890-acre headquarters near Decorah, Iowa. Heritage Farm is a unique educational center designed to maintain and display collections of endangered food crops. She also founded the Flower and Herb Exchange where members offer over 2000 heirloom flowers and herbs for exchange each year. Today she is a featured speaker at garden shows and botanical gardens throughout the country. She also head curator and designer of the flower and herb display gardens at Heritage Farm.



For further information and bookings, please email