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

  • A Japanese pumpkin also known as 'Kabocha' squash, that grows several small fruit per plant with mottled green skin. The flesh is deep yellow to orange with a firm, fine texture, quite dry with sweet, delicate flavour, not unlike a sweet potato. The skin itself becomes quite tender when cooked so does not need peeling. Excellent keeping qualities. Ebisu is the name for one of the Gods' of Luck, so must be good to have in the garden! Certified Organic
  • A variety of very old heritage dating back to the 1800’s, originating in Egypt. Vilmorin in his crop descriptions in 1885 states ‘Exceedingly early variety, best of all early kitchen garden kinds’ This is echoed in modern times by gardener Bob Flowerdew proclaiming it to have ‘the best flavour’. Early maturing, smooth skin on wide roots, deep crimson/purple flesh both sweet and tender. Very popular among the staff taste tests. Grows above the ground so easy to pull for harvest.
    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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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. 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 translates as ‘curled, dark green’ an accurate description of this old French variety. The tightly curled leaves are held clear of the ground on long stalks for clean and easy harvest. 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.
  • We had seven seeds in a packet from the German gene bank, dated 1999, the place of origin, Sweden, the description ‘vegetable marrow’. The six that germinated grew amazingly well, quickly covering an entire bed in the tunnel with their small tasty courgette and also good as the more traditional marrow.
    Certified Organic
  • 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
  • Italian heritage main crop carrot of great popularity. Large deep orange pointed roots, with excellent flavour and sweetness. Altogether delicious. Certified Organic
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Beautiful dark green savoy heads of medium size cabbage that are winter hardy, grown out from the native Irish collection.
    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
  • This is an extraordinary pepper, Klari being the name of the woman who maintained this ancient variety in Hungary. The fruit resembles a small round of cheese, looking more like tomatoes than peppers, produced in great abundance on compact plants. They benefit from some support. The fruit size ranges from small, like cherry tomatoes up to 100g, the colour from creamy-yellow to pale green to brilliant red. The flesh is very thick, creamy and sweet, delicious raw or cooked, perfect for stuffed peppers. Certified Organic
  • A rare variety from Switzerland going back to 1912. This climbing bean produces many quite short, wide, flat pods that can be eaten green. Left to mature, the beautiful two-colour dark red and white beans develop, which are delicious when podded and cooked.
  • This is an old-type white-carrot, once very common on Europe's farms, but now scarce. The roots grow huge and have a much more subtle earthy flavour than orange ones.  White carrots contain an active chemical ingredient that is purported to help in balancing children who have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
  • 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.
  • Beautiful medium-sized solid heads of red cabbage with mild flavour and intense colour. Stands well over winter with little loss to frost. 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
  • 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
    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
  • Love in a Mist

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    Dates to English gardens since 1570. An easy to grow border flower with lovely, wispy, feathery foliage and attractive flowers in mauve/blue/white shades. Interesting seed heads that can be dried and the plentiful seeds can be used as a spice, sometimes as a replacement for black cumin. Self-seeds easily. 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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