Why are growing numbers of people choosing to buy seeds from Irish seed savers?

The ethos here at Irish Seed Savers Association, is to conserve and distribute wonderful rare and heritage varieties, as well as to encourage the skills of saving your own seed and empowering people to do this in their own gardens, small holdings or farms.

All of our seeds are grown and saved in Ireland and are Open Pollinated which allows you to save your own seeds from them, keeping the variety true to type. By choosing Irish Seed Savers’ Open Pollinated Seeds you contribute to keeping food security in your own hands and Irish agricultural biodiversity alive and vibrant.

Download 2022 Heirloom Seed Catalogue

Browse Seeds

  • Electric Daisy ‘Yellow’

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A completely yellow version of the previous ‘Bulls eye’ cultivar. See ‘Electric Daisy Bulls eye’ for description.
  • Grown originally by Sean Flynn of Killucan or Cloughan, Co. Westmeath, we trialled this cut and come variety in 2020 and found it worthy to save the seed in 2021. A mild flavored medium sized cabbage green with a lightly crinkled semi-flat leaf.
  • Out of stock
    A great maincrop carrot, dark orange in colour with a wonderful sweet taste. Vigorous growth and strong foliage. This variety is often chosen in Europe to produce carrot juice due to its high brix value (number of grams of sucrose per 100grams of liquid). Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Certified Organic
  • Translates as ‘Great Good’, this pea has been around since 1872 and with good reason. Described as ‘a willing giant of a pea, brimming with health and large luscious pods’. Needs firm supports.
  • Certified Organic
  • York Swede

    2.95
    Sometimes known as York Purple Top, it has the distinction of being grand champion at the royal winter Fair in Toronto. Smooth, uniform, fine quality roots with purple shoulders and sweet yellow flesh. Small to medium in size and excellent winter keeper.
    Certified Organic
  • A rare, smooth-skinned variety from Switzerland. Described by growers as “spectacular, tender bulbs with fantastic flavour and bolt resistant”, “Very successful and absolutely delicious”.
    Certified Organic
  • This is a rare old landrace variety. It was maintained by a family in the mountains of the Swabinalb Region in Germany. This swede is a lovely uniform, very sweet medium-sized root with great flavour. It has good resistance to boron deficiency. Certified Organic
  • Electric Daisy ‘Bulls Eye’

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A very interesting addition to the garden. Also known as ‘toothache plant’ and ‘Tingflower’ owing to the numbing-buzzing sensation delivered to the mouth if leaves or flowers are chewed. Traditionally used in Brazil where they originate as a herbal remedy for tooth pain. The flowers are petal- less and cone shaped predominantly yellow but having a dark ‘bulls eye’ in the centre. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Grown for generations in the Channel Islands, an essential ingredient when dried, of a local dish there called the ‘Jersey bean Crock Pot’. The flat bean pods are stripped, very productive and can be eaten either fresh or matured and dried.  Certified Organic
  • Coral Pea

    2.95
    A reliable garden green pea, not too tall with good yields producing early with many  delicious peas (up to 8 per pod). They hold their sweetness well. Certified Organic
  • ‘Ruby Regis’ Lavatera

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A stunning upright bushy annual with masses of deep veined funnel shaped bright pink blooms. Our seed came from ‘Bôite de Graines’ seed company in France via former staff member Flora Barteau.
  • A German heritage variety of champion size, originally from Schmeltz. It remains tender and buttery even when it grows very big. Rich soil and of plenty space is required for this mammoth vegetable. Certified Organic
  • The seeds of this variety were brought back from an international slow food gathering in Turin, Italy. We weren’t initially sure whether it was going to be a leaf/chard type or a fodder beet- root crop. When grown in our gardens it turned out to be a vigorous, hardy crop with large light green leaves.
  • In 2018 we carried out a comparative trial between ‘Major Dunne’ and ‘Major Doon’, to try and ascertain if they were one and the same variety but with different name spellings as can often be the case. The Major Doon seed was acquired from The Heritage Seed Library in the UK who in turn had received it from a donor, Joseph McKeen, who sent them the seed of this Scottish heritage variety when he discovered he could no longer buy it commercially. It’s a superb purple- topped, globe swede with an excellent sweet flavour. It’s great raw and stores well – if you don’t eat them all straight away of course! In the absence of DNA testing, we concluded that Major Dunne & Major Doon are one and the same.
  • Easy to grow your own. Linseed is full of essential fatty acids & is a great health food. Sown in spring you will be treated to delicate satiny sky-blue flowers every day before pods ripen full of seeds. Certified Organic
  • This pea was widely cultivated in the 1800’s, also known as Sangsters No. 1. An article in the New York Times 1881 describes bushels being sold every spring on both sides of the Atlantic. There is even a drawing of this pea and others by Charles Darwin in 1898. It has been given a new lease of life on repatriation to us from the Vavilov Russian gene bank. A tall vine, with prolific quantities of pods full of sweet peas, best eaten while young. Good disease resistance. The peas can also be left to mature and dry off to be used as a soup pea in winter. Certified Organic
  • This bush bean came from one the European seed shares and is a traditional variety for 'drying beans' the plants are healthy and uniform. Leave pods on the vine for as long as possible until they have dried to a parchment. The lovely amber-brown beans inside will need further drying indoors to store for winter to use in soup, stew, casseroles, risotto, etc. Once dried they will need soaking for a few hours before cooking. Certified Organic
  • A cordon tomato bearing lovely yellow fruits of varying sizes some up to beefsteak-size.  They ripen to a deep glowing orange with a pleasant flavour, great for making sauces as well as sliced fresh. Certified Organic
  • Wonderful mustard greens with lush big, brilliant green leaves. A delicious flavour, not too strong. Especially nice steamed, and served with a lemon juice and soya sauce dressing. Certified Organic
  • This cordon variety was bred by biodynamic growers in Germany. A cordon rounded-oval plum tomato, has good resistance to blight and fruit splitting. Yields well, with a fruity flavour, firm skin, holds its shape when cut, perfect in a salad or sandwich. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    This came from the British Heritage Seed library, but presumably has Irish origins. It grows well and is very hardy, the flowers have a lovely scent. Produces long pods with four or five creamy seeds. Can be used for autumn sowing. Certified Organic
  • Soissons is one of the most ancient towns in the North East of France beside the Aisine River. This is a rich agricultural valley from which this traditional bush-bean hails. An upright plant 40cm tall, white cream flowers. Flat oval pods can be eaten fresh or allow the beans to mature, the white seeds can be kept for a dried bean. Certified Organic
  • Easy to grow your own. Linseed is full of essential fatty acids & is a great health food. Sown in spring you will be treated to delicate satiny sky-blue flowers every day before pods ripen full of seeds. Certified Organic
  • A prolific dwarf variety. Uniform plants with yellow pods and golden/brown beans when mature. We trialled them in 2020 at Capparoe and then our very reliable seed guardian Colm O Driscoll grew them on at Airfield Estate to bulk up our supplies.
  • Out of stock
    A favourite of Mona one of our seed guardians who has saved seed of this variety for over 15 years. A cordon giving a plentiful supply of sweet, sweet round medium size bright yellow fruit. Certified Organic
  • This beautiful, tall pea came originally from the Northern Irish Organic Garden Society having been grown in Ireland for three generations. Needs good supports, but worth the effort giving a great abundance of large pods filled with the sweetest peas. Thanks to supporter Liam Gaffney for sending seed for us to grow on. Certified Organic
  • Easy to grow, vigorous variety for spring and autumn sowing. Mildew resistant. Has lovely glossy green leaves that are tender and delicate. Certified Organic
  • This is the continental parsley often known as Hamburg parsley. Rather than eating the leaves, this parsley is grown for eating its root. The variety actually comes from Croatia. It has broad shoulders with a conical shape and good flavour. Dig them in autumn/winter and use them as you would parsnips, good roasted with other roots and tubers. Certified Organic
  • Named after the famous pea breeder, going back to the 1800’s. Quite an early maturing variety with a long harvest season. Particularly suitable to a maritime climate such as ours. 7-9 peas per pod, delicious tasting. Certified Organic
  • Purple Poppy

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A very handsome and cheery large poppy species with lilac petals and dark patches at the base. The leaves are lobed and wrinkled, stems bluish green. They produce large seed capsules. Super easy to save the seeds.
  • Hopi Red Dye Amaranthus

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    This one came from the Hopi people of Arizona and New Mexico, so called because they used the stems to make a food colouring for their bread ‘Piki’. The leaves can be used like a spinach, and are an excellent source of many vitamins, proteins and trace elements. The plants can grow up to 1.4 m, the flowers a vibrant, rich deep red make a stunning display, hanging in cascades 30-60cm long.  Needs some staking. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Introduced in 1845, this wonderful cucumber does as it suggests and starts fruiting very quickly giving lots of short- medium dark green fruit. They have an excellent flavour, mild and sweet and crisp in texture. Keeps cropping over a long season. This variety is reputed to be quite hardy so may be worth trying outdoors in our short summers. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock

    McAnallen’ Sunflower

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A remarkably large and robust sunflower. With food or oil crops in mind for the future this has serious potential not to mention it is hugely attractive and striking. Certified Organic
  • These (Seeds) shallots are a superb French heirloom variety. Deliciously sweet and mild and easy to slice. Often called Banana-type shallots for their torpedo shaped bulbs. They have wonderful pink-brown skins and are very productive. They produce good-sized bulbs which are useful for storing.
  • Out of stock
    This gracious lady was catalogued in the R.H.S. dictionary of plants as far back as 1633. Incredible bi-coloured blossoms of scarlet-orange and creamy white, continuing for most of the season. They develop into long fine flavoured green beans. May also be used dried. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    This very early variety, is a compact bush- type with cherry red, juicy fruit, ripening long before the end of June. The flavour a dense, delicious tangy sweetness. Certified Organic
  • Endive is eaten widely on the continent and this French heirloom, broadleaf type is easy to grow; very hardy so can be used for an over-winter crop. Its crisp furled leaves give nice texture to salads, though they have a slightly bitter edge (this stimulates the appetite). Leaves respond well to cut and come again treatment making them a most productive winter salad. Certified Organic
  • As the name implies, a turnip-shaped beetroot. Originally from North America and dating back to 1825. It has dark red, sweet flesh with occasional pink areas.
Supported in part by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal through the Community Services Programme. We confirm that our organisation complies with The Governance Code for the Community, Voluntary and Charitable Sector in Ireland.

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