Seed Savers Exchange


Mission Statement

As a nonprofit, Seed Savers Exchange aims to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.


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.

Program Details

Exchange: The Exchange is a seed swap, where gardeners from around the country offer seeds they've grown ("homegrown seeds"). The Exchange is facilitated by Seed Savers Exchange and started with the sharing of seeds within a small group of people in 1975 and has continued to expand over the last 40+ years. The Exchange is a continuation of that tradition and facilitates the sharing and preservation of seeds amongst gardeners.
Citizen Science Corps: The Citizen Science Corps presents an exciting way to get involved in the work of Seed Savers Exchange. Since 2011, our members from around the country have helped us evaluate and share the varieties in our seed collection. As a result, we have a deeper understanding of our collection and have made more varieties available through the Exchange.
Community Seed Network: The Community Seed Network connects and supports community seed initiatives by providing resources, information, and a platform for networking.
Community Seed Donations: Seed Savers Exchange donates seeds each year through Community Seed Donations to hundreds of gardens across the United States including community and educational groups, non-profits, schools, community gardens, and seed libraries.
See the 2018-19 Gratitude Report for more on the work funded by our community of supporters.
Primary Issue
3094 N. Winn Road
Decorah, IA 52101
United States
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