The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Michels' cowpea

The Heritage Farm Collection: 'Michels' cowpea

In 1941, Vince Michels,’ army unit held maneuvers by walking from Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri to Tennessee.  During this march, Vince noticed they were walking through "a field of something planted with pods."  Vince picked a few pods, and mailed them to his father, Fred Michels, in Earling, Iowa.

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The Heart of What We Do

The Heart of What We Do

Every year for the last 40, support from conscientious donors has allowed us to increase our commitment to the safekeeping and propagation of heirloom plant varieties. We cannot do the work of preserving our garden heritage without you.  

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(Almost) Instant Replay: 9th Annual Tomato Tasting Results

(Almost) Instant Replay: 9th Annual Tomato Tasting Results

Perhaps the only thing that the staff a Seed Savers Exchange love more about their jobs than growing plants  is actually getting to eat some of the amazing fruits that these plants produce. As part of our work here we get to take part in taste evaluations and no evaluation is more anticipated and beloved than our Annual Tomato Tasting.

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Reinvention of the Humble Tomato Tasting

Reinvention of the Humble Tomato Tasting

Due to the popularity of our on-site Tomato Tasting, and the wild success of last year’s Apple Tasting event in Des Moines, we had the idea to hit the road with our tomatoes. As we began developing plans for a Tomato Tasting Block Party at the Tiny Diner in Minneapolis, we got inspired to expand beyond our initial vision for an off-site outreach effort.

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Evaluating Heirlooms with 2014 Conference Attendees

Evaluating Heirlooms with 2014 Conference Attendees

Part of the evaluation process (and arguably the most fun) involves Tasting Trials. Aside from SSE Members who participate in the Member Grower Evaluation Network (M-GEN), the Evaluation Program has not requested public participation in the Taste Trials up until this point. Sixty-five participants at the 2014 Conference and Campout gave us detailed rankings and notes about 4 snap beans, 5 carrots, 4 collards, and 11 kale.

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Collection to Catalog

Collection to Catalog

The introduction of the Limited Edition “From the Preservation Gardens” line of seeds to the SSE catalog in 2013 brought the heartwarming, funny, and sometimes curious stories of varieties from our on-site preservation collection into the homes of thousands of Americans. The SSE catalog is responsible for producing an annual infusion of fresh pieces of history along with member favorites.

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Seed Savers Exchange Showcase: Container Gardening!

Seed Savers Exchange Showcase: Container Gardening!

Are you an apartment dweller with a green thumb? Or a novice who's daunted by the thought of a full-blown garden? Well, don’t fear because we’re here with a list of lovely varieties that thrive in containers. And we’re here to tell you that you don’t need a yard to be a seed saver.

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Exploring the Diversity Garden

Exploring the Diversity Garden

The onset of spring has us dreaming about the vegetables that will fill our gardens during the summertime. But it is difficult to imagine summer’s bounty when your pepper plants are two inches tall and your onion stems are so thin you can barely see them. So why don’t we take a walk around a summer garden?

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