“Welcome to a little piece of paradise.”
Set in bold, white text, those words greet all visitors who pause to examine the large map posted at the kiosk just outside the Lillian Goldman Visitors Center at Heritage Farm, the Decorah-based headquarters of Seed Savers Exchange. Erected this June, the map is just one of more than two dozen new informational signs strategically placed throughout the 890-acre property to provide visitors with insight into the history, mission, and inner workings of this truly one-of-kind farm.
What can you see upon stopping at Heritage Farm? Gardens, for one. Both our evaluation display gardens—featuring heirloom and historic varieties from our collection—and Diane’s Garden—designed and maintained by Seed Savers Exchange co-founder Diane Ott Whealy—are a stone’s throw from the visitors center, as is our new small-space garden. (Yes, you can plant plenty in 100 square feet of space.) Wander far enough, and you’ll likely happen upon some of our production gardens too.
But gardens are not all you’ll find in this “little piece of paradise.” If apples are your thing, the Historic Orchard (comprising more than 900 varieties of apple trees) and the newer Amy Goldman Heritage Orchard (featuring Midwestern apple varieties) await you. You’ll also find rare heritage poultry breeds housed near our rustic red barn (yep, that’s open for discovery too), two herds of rare Ancient White Park cattle, miles of scenic hiking trails, and shallow streams for trout fishing.
The Lillian Goldman Visitors Center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from March 1 to October 31; it is closed from November 1 to February 28, as well as Easter Sunday and the Fourth of July. Even when the center is closed, however, our new informational signs are ready to guide you through your next visit to Heritage Farm.