seed savers exchanges

“It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied. Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice, it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger.” Kahil Gibran, The Prophet.

There are many seed savers exchanges around the world. Some are formal, others informal. The idea is that gardeners or farmers who save their own seed exchange them with others. This is a great way of contributing to the evolution of plant diversity, sharing unique varieties. It also removes the money restrictions associated with buying seeds. It’s good to communicate with other growers, especially if you share the same bioregion.

Seed Savers Exchange Workshop, Cortes Is, B.C.

Some exchanges are done through a written catalogue sent to all the members listing what is available, and they contact each other accordingly. Others happen as a community event usually in autumn after most seed has been harvested. These events are often really exciting as people exchange their precious seeds with a love and pride. People leave such seed exchanges feeling richer with an abundance of diversity.

If you participate in a seed exchange we would love you to tell us about it.

If you would like to start a local seed exchange and would like some support, perhaps we can help. We could bring a slideshow about why it is such an important activity to engage with.

You can start an exchange just by swapping seeds with your neighbours or friends.

Here are some exchanges we know about:

Henry Doubleday Research Association
Ryton Organic Gardens,
Coventry, UK
Tel: 01203 303517
Fax: 01203 639229
Email: [email protected]

You can find about their seed swap registrar, join the Heritage Seed Library, ‘Adopt a Veg’ or help the Backyard Biodiversity appeal for old seed, by writing to them.

Permaculture Seed Exchange
Ivan Courtier,
The Permaculture Association,
3rd Floor Studios,
Unit 6 Car Mills,
322 Meanwood Road,
Leeds L57 4LR

?1 contribution to the cost of producing the Listing would be gratefully received.

Seed Savers Exchange
Rt 3 Box 239,
52101, USA

A non-profit organisation involving thousands of members (mostly American) saving old-time food crops from extinction. Send $1 for brochure explaining project.

Irish Seed Savers Association
Co. Clare

Organisation involved in the location and preservation of traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables, maintains a seed bank, and more.

Please contact us if you know of others we should publicise.