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

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  • 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.
  • 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
  • Good hardy landrace parsley from an Armenian market place (as the name suggests). Flat-leaved, with great flavour and hardy large clumps. We picked from the outdoor plants all through the winter. Certified Organic
  • Woad

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    Woad has been used for centuries to obtain a blue dye, it is said a hundred weight of leaves yields 10 lbs of dye and is quite an elaborate process to extract. However, it is easy to grow this ancient plant and, as Richard Mabey describes in one of his books, ‘worth having in the garden’. An attractive plant with 1m high stems, long succulent leaves which shine like stained glass, with inner blue; foamy clusters and brilliant-yellow flowers. Pendant fiddle shaped seeds which may also turn blue/purple in wet weather. Certified Organic
  • This great cauliflower was collected in Co. Dublin in 1982 from an elderly farmer and produces magnificent curds. Kim Tyler told us ‘It is super reliable year after year, can’t remember when I received seed from you but it’s the only cauliflower I grow now it’s so good!’ Sow July/ August and plant out in September for an early crop the following spring; can also be grown in tunnels over winter for an even earlier crop.
    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
  • A mix of different varieties of kale, cut and come greens and mustard leaves that can be sown often and used when small for baby leaf tangy salad leaves or thinned out and left to mature for delicious, nutritious winter greens.
  • Wildflower Mix

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A mix of brightly coloured annual and biennial flowers which attract butterflies, bees and other insects. Flowers from April to September. Included in the mix are wild campion, foxgloves, poppies, linseed, bluebell, oxeye daisy, ragged robin, angelica, mullien, sweet cicely woad, , clover and vetch . Always sow in bare cultivated soil with fine tilth to get established.
  • A popular variety grown in Cork and donated to us by Eddie Lucey. A round, medium sized swede turnip with purple/magenta skin and delicious golden flesh. Good disease resistance and very hardy even in exposed locations.
    Certified Organic
  • First listed in a catalogue in 1885, this winter storage radish is still going strong. The long, cylindrical roots have the most beautiful purple skin and mild sweet white flesh. Certified Organic
  • Another rare old variety coming originally from an heirloom collection from Seeds by Size in England. Long tapering roots, sweet to eat and very hardy.
  • An old landrace variety originally from Switzerland and being selected and bred by a Swiss farmer. We shared this variety with our friends at Adaptive Seeds in the pacific northwest of the USA where they have undertaken leek trials. This leek has good large stalks, dark green leaves and is hardy through winter. Certified Organic
  • A lovely large loose curled green leafy lettuce with very crunchy leaves of great texture. Especially good addition to a salad mix. Grows well year round. Donated to us by supporter Steven Marsh.
    Certified Organic.
  • We are delighted to be able to re-offer this lovely calabrese of Italian origin. We had some unsuccessful attempts at seed harvests over the past few years, but with the tender and diligent care of Head Gardener Tristan Leinhard we harvested a bumper crop this year. This variety can be grown through summer or in a cool tunnel from an August sowing for winter/spring harvest. It produces a decent-sized head, is tender and delicious and will continue to grow side shoots for several weeks after harvest of the main head. 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
  • Delicious, smooth, round gold roots with sweet flavoured bright yellow flesh, the colour retained even when cooked. This variety has been ‘rebred’ from old seed stocks to create this vigorous, quick growing brilliant yellow beet.
    Certified Organic
  • Bred in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas this tomato is regarded as one of the tastiest heirlooms. Clusters of 5 - 9 fruit the size of a large cherry ripen up the vine over a long season. Red, sweet and juicy, productive and with some disease resistance. Certified Organic
  • Very productive 1m high kale originating in the west of France prior to 1865, known as ‘Branching Borecole’. Easy to grow, plain leaf kale with spreading foliage. Winter hardy, particularly suited to our climate, reliable and very tolerant of poor soils. Supporter, Hilary Killops suggests eating it, ‘Lightly steamed and served with a sauce of yoghurt and a little chilli pepper.’
    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
  • A fine sturdy heirloom variety, with long, deep green leaves, juicy white stems, giving a fresh taste to salad and stir fry. Certified Organic
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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