Photo Essay: Capturing a Season

The years go by quickly.

Documenting your year in the garden through photos can be a great way of keeping records for improving next year's methods, for selecting varieties that have performed extremely well, even for sharing ideas with your friends, neighbors, and community.

Photos can also be about looking back with fondness in the years to come on time well spent.

Every year we are sent countless photos of gardens from schools that received our seeds through Herman's Garden donation programs, from community gardeners who are using our resources to build their own seed gardens, and from home growers who take pride in their produce.

At Seed Savers Exchange we use photos to document our work, to record images of particular varieties, and to share the experience of our events and daily activity with you.

Here's a look at some of our favorites from the last few years, all taken by the staff at Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa.

Amy, Seed Savers Exchange's Greenhouse Manager, works with Katie to release pollinators into isolation tents that prevent cross-pollination between varieties.

Seed Savers Exchange Co-Founder Diane Ott Whealy and Board member David Cavagnaro chat with guests in the gardens at a fundraising dinner.

Early season tomato foliage from the trial gardens at Seed Savers Exchange's Heritage Farm.

Attendees at Seed Savers Exchange's 2014 Conference and Campout learn the art of seed saving and hear from distinguished key-note speakers.

Several varieties of heirloom poultry make Seed Savers Exchange's Heritage Farm their home for a year before being distributed to other farms.

Varieties of cucumber grown out in 2014 at Seed Savers Exchange have notes associated with flavor/taste and texture documented along with growth habit and appearance.

The delicate flowers of a castor bean mature to a vibrant red seed pod, contrasting with the muted white cucumbers from Seed Savers Exchange.

Conference attendees at Seed Savers Exchange learn the basics of apple grafting and tree care in the historic orchard, featuring nearly 900 varieties of apple.

Staff at Seed Savers Exchange recently set up an indoor light studio to capture the diversity and intricate details of seeds and plants in the Collection.

Heritage Farm near Decorah, IA serves as Seed Savers Exchange's home base - with gardens, fields, laboratories, a library, a seed vault, and even a visitors center.

The farm at Seed Savers Exchange is home to countless species of wildlife, some of which secret themselves away in our display gardens.

In 2013 staff took a moment to relax at the end of a great season with a picnic and celebration of Plaidurday on the first Friday in October. 

Thank you for sharing your time with us, for sharing your seeds with us, and for sharing the stories of your gardens and traditions with us. We hope you enjoyed some of the photos we've shared with you.


Take a look at our webinar on Garden Photography to learn how to capture your garden at its best throughout the season.

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization located in Decorah, Iowa, with a mission to conserve and promote America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.