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

  • 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 red campion, foxgloves, oxeye daisy, poppies, ragged robin, mullein, woad, linseed. Always sow in bare cultivated soil with fine tilth to get established.
  • Buan Onion

    2.95
    This is a true native Irish onion bred by Barnie Crombie who was still doing on- ion trials up until the 1980’s when he passed on. However, he had sent seed to the Russian and English gene banks from which Irish Seed Savers Association received seed and we have been growing and saving this unique variety since. It has performed extremely well in the most adverse conditions for ‘good quality onions’, i.e. an average Irish summer. The name comes from old Irish, ‘Long life’, and it is indeed a really good white fleshed storage bulb, often not sprouting until summer the following season. Certified Organic
  • This variety you will find often listed as an F1. However, it is quite possibly the same as listed by Vilmorin in 1856 as ‘Verte d’Australie’ Mona one of our seed growers has kept her own seed year on year and it grows reliably the same each time, so almost definitely not an F1. As do all the blue pumpkins, it hails from Australia, the silvery-blue skin contrasts beautifully with its bright orange flesh. The dense flesh deliciously sweet and nutty, second to none. Good for storage.
    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
  • Salad Mix

    2.95
    A mix of lush cut-n-come varieties of salads. Including lettuce, corn salad, mustard leaves, pac choi, endive, shungiku and herbs. Certified Organic
  • Calendula Marigold

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    What garden would be complete without these brilliant, cheerful orange and yellow-gold flowers? Flower petals can be eaten.  Good for companion planting and lots of medicinal uses. Self-seeds with abundance. Certified Organic
  • A salad green cultivated since Roman times also known as ‘Italian Rocket’. The nutty spicy leaves give interesting flavour to milder salad leaves. Best grown in cool conditions. The flowers are also incredibly beautiful, delicate creamy stars with purple veins. Certified Organic
  • This is an outstanding variety bred by Alan Kapaler in Oregon for organic conditions. It has proved to be a favourite, very hardy, ovewinters well (outside as well as in a tunnel). A giant cut n come lettuce with lush deep red lobed leaves that can be picked all through Autumn, Winter and Spring.
    Certified Organic.
  • One of our most popular varieties, repatriated from the Vavilov Gene Bank in Russia. The plants grow swiftly in our temperate climate, so need good support. They produce an abundance of delicious sweet round peas, described by many as a wonderful crop. They have good mildew resistance and are less prone to sprouting in the pod in a wet summer. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Italian heritage main crop carrot of great popularity. Large deep orange pointed roots, with excellent flavour and sweetness. Altogether delicious. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    A Russian heirloom. This bush tomato is incredibly bountiful, giving large amounts of sweet medium sized tomatoes from each plant. Certified Organic
  • A native Irish selection of hardy and vigorous sprouts, holds its own with whatever the winter weather brings. Overall large plants with numerous big sprouts holding well through winter, but as with any landrace types you will find some variation.
    Certified Organic
  • This variety was sent into us by Stephen Marsh, a long-standing supporter of our work. He described it as a ‘beauti- ful butterhead’, that he used to grow 50 years ago and was then very popular. In 2016 he rediscovered it in a catalogue and sent us the seeds. Light green tasty big heads with tightly packed fleshy hearts. It is described as a Spring/ Summer sown type, but we sowed in early autumn and it grow fine and healthy under cover.
    Certified Organic.
  • Out of stock
    This veritable aged lettuce was described in ‘The Gardener’ magazine in 1867, “ought to be in every garden”. Large green crisp juicy leaves with a red tinge, form a loose ‘cos -type’ head. It is hardy, so can be grown through autumn and winter from a late summer sowing. Certified Organic
  • This variety has been maintained by three generations of the Sweeney family from Gortahork village in Donegal, the original seed was brought back from Scotland by Owen Sweeney in 1910 and saved ever since. A distinct landrace, large drumhead winter hardy cabbage with excellent flavour.
    Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Introduced to the market in 1861 selected from wild stock or ‘ennobled’ by a Professor at Cirencester Agricultural College. It was then taken up by Suttons. This long cultivated variety has long tapering roots of good size and pleasant flavour. Certified Organic
  • Poppy Mix

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    This is a mix of various shades of poppy, pink, magenta, mauve purple and some with frilly petals or double blooms! Easy to grow, direct sow, self seeds easily. Certified Organic
  • This is a Florence bulb fennel, a wonderfully ornamental vegetable grown for its swollen leaf bases or 'bulbs' and edible leaves. Ideal for cool climes. Very reliable, high yielding, quick maturing and bolt resistant producing crisp bulbs with a strong liquorice flavour. The stalks can be eaten raw or cooked like celery and the seeds have a lovely anise flavour. Certified Organic
  • This came to us from Baker Creek heirloom seeds in America. A stunning all orange stalk selection that will brighten up the garden, delicious leaves. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Delicious vibrant golden-yellow carrot with crisp smooth flesh. It comes originally from the Limburg province in the Netherlands. Grows vigorously from a spring sowing and good for winter storage. It is also proven by some gardeners to be less prone to carrot root fly than the orange varieties. Certified Organic
  • An Irish pea of distinction, also known as Fill the basket or even Fillbasket. It is listed in the Edmonson Brothers Dublin seed catalogue in 1921. It was sent in to us by John O Neil. His neighbours, the Christies from Tipperary town had grown and saved this variety for over 50 years. Easy to grow small plants 1-1.2m but very productive with truly delicious peas, enough to ‘fill a bucket’. 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.
  • Out of stock
    A very old French heirloom variety mentioned in the book ‘Les Plantes Potageres’ in 1885. Extremely vigorous particularly good for autumn plantings. Large long smooth leaves up to 25cm long. The plants can reach 60cm in diameter. Leaves are thick fleshed, dark green and very flavoursome. 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 variety is a French heirloom also known as ‘Brown Spanish’, a standard variety in Europe for over 200 years. It was said by ‘Vilmorin in 1855 in his famous book ‘Les Plantes Potageres’, ‘That the winter supply of onions for Paris and Europe consists chiefly of this variety’. Now it is rare and very hard to find. The onion is a productive early cropper with flat bulbs up to 10cm across, Full of flavour, brown/copper skin and keeps well.
    Certified Organic
  • A French heirloom ‘Full of delicate surprises’. Small, clear pale green fruit with a pleasant fruity flavour. ‘Carpaccio’ is a great way to enjoy this gem, cut the courgette into vertical slices, grill briefly on both sides, then marinate with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and fresh coriander.
    Certified Organic
  • A traditional swede/turnip, with purple and white skin growing to a good size. Golden flesh very sweet and tasty, lasting well into spring before going woody, all round ‘excellent’ as described by a supporter. Madeline at Brown Envelope seeds trialled it one winter in conjunction with popular commercial varieties and it came out ‘Best of All’!
    Certified Organic
  • A hardy annual, with characteristic pungent leaves used in salads, curries and pickles. This variety was brought to us from the Kenyan seed savers in 2017. Very vigorous and easy to grow. For a constant supply sow direct, little and often from early spring. Coriander has a long history of use. Seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun. These days the seeds have been found helpful in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Certified Organic
  • A bumper cropper of very large (300-400g) sweet, succulent juicy raspberry coloured fruit. In fact Malinowy means ‘Raspberry’ in Polish where this wonderful tomato hails from. The trusses of this cordon type, were heavily laden early in the season and sweet before ever experiencing much sunshine. The fruit is both perfect for slicing raw with dense flesh and for making the juiciest sauces. Thanks to supporter Liam Gaffney for introducing this one to us. Apparently the seed had been saved for many years by the grandfather of a Polish guy working in Scotland. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    A favourite from our tomato trials of Latvian varieties. A medium, tear drop-shaped golden tomato of incredible sweetness. Yellow tomatoes tend to be less acidic than red ones. A grower in Meath goes on to say, "I grew Dzintare Lasite outside in a sheltered spot and they did very well, better than red ones". Certified Organic
  • A European heirloom, productive and disease resistant. Quite tall plants with long branches bearing huge quantities of fruit. The peppers are long and slender starting as dark green they ripen to a brilliant yellow. A medium hot and delicious Chilli pepper. Supporter Nicky says ‘I love them, have bags of them in the freezer as it is so easy to freeze them whole!’ 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
  • Mizuna

    2.95
    A Japanese green that grows as a large rosette of finely lobed leaves, crisp with a characteristic peppery flavour that spices up a salad and can also be used in stir fry. To have a continuous supply of young leaves keep cutting regularly. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock

    Russian Sunflowers

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    They grow up to 1.5m tall, with huge brilliant yellow flower heads and dark centers. Despite the size, they are multi-flowering, so make a good show over a long period. They need some support. The seeds are large, so may provide a good food crop too. Certified Organic
  • Both plants and fruits are mini. With this variety the fruits could almost be mistaken for an unusual tomato. The chocolate refers to the colour of the peppers which is a rich, dark brown/red, rather than the flavour, which is mild and sweet when cooked. The texture and flesh are firm and crisp so this little pepper would be ideal for stuffing with cream cheese and roasting whole. 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
  • Out of stock
    A tall variety of sugar snap pea so requires good staking, but is worth it for an amazing harvest of sweet, succulent, crispy pods, best eaten when the peas are well-developed, whole pod and all, raw or cooked. This variety was given to us years back by Stormy Hall seed company to save, as it has been dropped from the commercial seed register. Certified Organic
  • A very old French heirloom variety going back to the 19th Century. Very hardy, holding well over the winter, medium long shafts, sweet flavour and the blue/green leaves turn a beautiful eye catching violet colour in very cold weather. Certified Organic
  • Oelliet Gem Tagetes-Marigold

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    This is an edible variety of marigold, very pungent reminiscent of tangerines. Both leaves and flowers can be eaten in salads or made into tea. The plants are compact so can be grown under tomatoes etc. to help deter pests and to give a bright, vibrant, colourful display of golden-yellow to orange flowers all through the growing season. Not frost hardy. Certified Organic
  • A rare, old variety of open-pollinated parsnip. Large broad roots with smooth white skin, utterly delicious when roasted. Very good canker resistance. John, a local grower, reported excellent tolerance to the cold – in the ‘big freeze’ of a few winters ago, after removing the soil on top with a pick axe, he was able to pull perfectly clean parsnip from the frozen ground with no effort – and delighted in their sweet, delicious flavour. Nicky Griffin sows in May, 3 seeds per station, 15cm apart. Some roots reached 3lb in weight, the size of a mans hand across but retained the excellent flavour. Certified Organic
  • Called also ‘Mexican Banana’ and ‘Plymouth Rock’, this heirloom was introduced in the USA in 1893. The fruits are, well, kind-of banana shaped, cylindrical rather than round, the skin turning pink-orange as they ripen. The skin is quite thin, smooth and velvety which makes them very attractive (and you don’t need to peel for roasting or soup making). Golden orange flesh is thick, firm, sweet and ‘superbly fine tasting’. It actually melts in the mouth. Each plant can produce several large fruits. A good keeper as it stores for up to six months. For Supporter Kim Tyner, it gave a ‘bumper crop outdoors, grown under sweetcorn, tastes super and so easy to cut and cook’
    Certified Organic
  • From our native Irish collection, these particular Spring cabbages were grown and collected in and around Cork city. Lush tender greens and small pointed heads all through spring. Will produce even in hard winters. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    A Dutch heritage variety from the province of Groningen. It has unusual pure white flowers which smell wonderful. Medium pods packed with beans growing up the whole stem, thus very productive. Good for both autumn and spring sowing. Certified Organic
  • The seed of this variety was donated to us by a Dr. Stewart of Bective, Co. Meath. It produces a much larger seed than ordinary varieties of linseed and is low growing which makes it suitable to grow in more exposed locations. It yields very well. Certified Organic
  • A popular native Irish cut ‘n’ come cabbage with great resilience even in difficult growing conditions like waterlogged soil or exposed places. It provides delicious purple/green tender crinkled leaves that can be picked for several months and go on producing more. Lovely addition to the winter garden.
    Certified Organic
  • A unique variety with fine, feathery foliage giving all the distinctive taste and aroma of coriander with an extra sweetness and fragrance. Certified Organic
  • Tagetes Marigold Pinwheel Metamorph

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    These make an absolutely stunning display of dark red,orange and yellow concentric, striped flowers, blooming in vivid profusion from May – October. Tall plants up to 1m high with the pungent smell of the tagetes marigolds that can also help to confuse pests. Given to us by Peace Seeds in Oregon. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    This carrot came out of the Czech gene bank, bred in the 1940s, a time of expert plant breeding. These deliciously flavoursome and very juicy carrots grow to a medium sized main crop.
  • Flat leaf heirloom parsley from Italy, with early seedling vigour and prolific, strong growing, large, open plants. High yielding dark green, lush leaves with rich, sweet flavour. The thick stalks can be eaten like celery.
  • An heirloom from Italy going back to the early 1900's. It is a productive bush type with cylindrical fruit, dark green striped with pale green/cream skin and lovely tender yet firm flesh. Best picked for eating approx. 20 cm long. Certified Organic
  • These are lovely strong plants with large luscious dark green leaves that can be picked from summer to late the following Spring. So sweet and tender they can even be used raw.
    Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    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
  • Out of stock
    A dependable cropper of rich sweet fruits even in cool summers. The plants are compact but productive (equal or better than many F1 hybrid types). They ripen to a beautiful glossy deep red and are delicious both raw and cooked. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock

    French Honeysuckle

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A hardy perennial, once seen never forgotten! 1m high open bush with silver rimmed leaves and fantastic, fragrant, dense spikes of crimson red flowers, rich in nectar and exotic in appearance. Best grown in a sunny position but likes moist soil and is also nitrogen fixing.   Certified Organic
  • This pea came from Patrick Carruthers in Co. Down and has been grown and saved there for 25 years. Grows up to 1.6m, lovely magnenta-purple flowers which produce the colourful purple pods. The peas are lovely to eat fresh when young but are also great to allow to mature and dry for a winter storage pea. Certified Organic
  • Elephant Amaranth

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    This is a plant with character and striking beauty. A Heirloom that went to the USA with German immigrants in 1880, but is in fact an ancient grain of both the far East and the Aztecs. The name Amaranth actually comes from the Greek for ‘everlasting’.It can grow up to 1.5 m tall, thick maroon red flower stalk that looks like an upraised elephant trunk, from whence the name comes. As well as a stunning flower display , the young leaves are edible and late in the season will give a plentiful amount of nutritious high protein seeds. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    A variety that goes back to 1871, this is a great winter vegetable with good sized, globed roots and white flesh. Very tasty in soups and stews or even roasted, with that distinctive ‘celery’ flavour. 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
  • This is an old-type white-carrot first established in Europe in the 15th century. These were once very common until the introduction of orange carrots. They can grow quite large and have a subtle earthy flavour. Now quite scarce these old white varieties can often be mistaken for parsnips
  • A traditional French cultivar grown in the alluvial plains of the Seine in Normandy. It has short, chunky stems and lovely bright green foliage, good for autumn and winter harvesting.
    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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