Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange has protected the biodiversity of our food system—and our planet—by preserving rare, heirloom, and open-pollinated varieties of seeds in our seed bank at Heritage Farm and encouraging gardeners and farmers worldwide to grow, harvest, and share heirloom seeds as well as recount the inspirational stories behind them.
Seed Savers Exchange focuses on stewarding and sharing the large collection of open-pollinated varieties the organization has since amassed, thanks in large part to that original group of dedicated gardeners. The varieties are truly priceless—some represent a family’s immigration story, while others produce memorable, flavorful food dished up, year after year, at family gatherings. Together the seeds of these varieties compose an irreplaceable genetic resource that may well guarantee the security of our future food supply. These rare, diverse seeds ensure that we have varieties adapted to different climate conditions and resistant to certain diseases. When seed diversity is strong, our food system is protected, as this diversity increases the probability of having crop varieties that thrive in adverse situations.
Today, nearly 45 years later, we house the nation’s largest nongovernmental seed bank of its kind, where thousands of rare, heirloom varieties are safeguarded for generations to come—our children, and our children’s children.