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.
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.
This is a brassica plant also known as ‘Chinese Violet Cress’, used for salad or cooking greens. Coming originally
from China made popular by Joy Larkom's recommendation, it gives mild but tasty leaves through the winter,
followed by beautiful violet flowers in spring which are also edible.
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
This one captured the interest of many visitors. Brilliant emerald green leaves with curly, serrated-edges - most attractive. A great flavour with the distinct mustard hot tang. It can be used in salads or cooked. Its very hardy
and can be grown outdoors all winter as well as under cover, with a long growing season.
A lovely ornamental mustard leaf, with deeply serrated leaves, flashed deep with purple-magenta veining. Quite a
tender mild mustard flavour to liven up salads, and good for steaming or stir fry.
A surprise in the salad bowl – flavoursome serrated leaves that taste somewhere between celery and carrots.
Grows well over winter under cover and also provides a spectacular display of yellow and orange flowers in early
summer that are a big hit with the bees, hoverflies and other beneficial insects as well as visitors – delightful.
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.
This is a wonderful lettuce bred by Wild Garden Seeds in Oregon. A large loose leaf but upright cos type head perfect for ‘cutting and coming again’. It is outrageously red, a colourful addition to salad. Hardy over Winter, also good for Spring sowing.
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.
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.
Large upright plants with abundant crisp, juicy light green crinkly leaves. Adapted to difficult conditions and very slow to bolt, yet holds sweet flavour and tenderness through warm summers and cool winters. This variety is documented as far back as 1850 in England.
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.
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.