Irish Seed Savers Association


Mission Statement

One of Ireland’s leading conservation NGO’s we grow, save and share rare varieties of heirloom vegetable seeds and Irish heritage apple trees. Located in Scariff, Co Clare, Ireland. We maintain the country’s public seed bank with over 600 non-commercially available varieties of seed and over 170 varieties of Irish heritage apple trees. We have a 20 acre Certified Organic farm that's open to the public. Full of heritage orchards, seed gardens, native woodland, ponds, polytunnels and a visitor centre.
We run workshops throughout the year on various topics to help inform and teach others how to save seeds, grow their own food and to help encourage greater food security for future generations.


Our History
Irish Seed Savers Association exists as a living testimony to the richness and wealth of the agricultural legacy of our ancestors. Irish Seed Savers Association was founded by Anita Hayes in 1991. The work was initially done on a small farm in Co. Carlow before moving to Capparoe, Scarriff in 1996.
We were very fortunate to have the help of Dr. Keith Lamb who had conducted the original research into native Irish apples in the 1940s and Dr. Michael Hennerty former head of the Department of Horticulture in University College Dublin who has continued to provide wisdom and expertise. In 1996 the project moved to its present site in Scariff and in 1997 a FAS community employment scheme developed by Bridget Carlin secured employment for many staff.
Through the hard work of staff, volunteers and the generosity of subscribers and friends of Irish Seed Savers we have grown steadily since that time.
  • In 1996 Michael Miklis, began efforts to conserve Irish grain on his own farm in Co Kilkenny.
  • In 1997 the Native Irish Apple collection (Lamb/Clarke) was inaugurated by President Mary Robinson.
  • In 1998 an Irish Brassica project was started in co-operation with the Wellesbourne Gene Bank in the U.K.
  • From 1999 with the acquisition of new land we were able to build a purpose built Educational Facility and small Shop and Café. Our new building has also provided office and administration space. This land also houses our New Research Orchard, a Cob House, Earth Oven, and a Polytunnel.
  • In 2013 we built the country’s first public seed bank which allows visitors to learn about the process of seed saving and the importance of conservation for long-term food security for future generations.

Program Details

Primary Issue
Scariff, Capparoe
Co. Clare, null null
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