What's Really in the Vault?


Have you ever wondered what crop types are in the vault at Seed Savers Exchange?

The seed vault at Seed Savers Exchange holds a living collection of more than 20,000 heirloom seeds --  seeds that have been donated by gardeners, families, and communities and entrusted to our care.

Our collection is made up of over 100 plant types, the most popular of which are tomatoes, beans, and peppers.

Plant Type Our Collection Size
Tomato 6037
Bean 4862
Pepper 2322
Squash 1229
Pea 1115
Other (a mix of over 95 plant types) 11598

A seed is a living thing and the seed vault is ideal for storing seeds as cold slows down regeneration.  At -18C, we expect seeds to be viable for at least 100 years (although projections vary by crop type from a few hundred years to over 1,000 years).  This ensures that each variety of seed will be available for future generations of gardeners.

The seed vault is an integral component of our conservation efforts.  It’s the place we store seeds when we’re not growing them so that they will be available to grow and share in the future. - Preservation Manager, Tim Johnson

Over time, our hillside vault has become vulnerable to the elements and has recently developed a large crack in the floor. While seeds are presently being kept at a stable temperature today, action needs to be taken to install a replacement vault, immediately.

The seed vault is the core of Seed Savers Exchange, and vital to the health of our seeds and the future of our American garden heritage.  The new vault will ensure the protection of the growing collection for future generations.

You can help.  Your donation to the Seeds for Tomorrow campaign will go directly toward construction of a new seed vault at Seed Savers Exchange.

Visit our campaign website for more information, the latest updates, and to make a donation.  Help save our seeds for tomorrow, today.