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 2024 Heirloom Seed Catalogue

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  • This variety, once very popular with commercial growers, was given to us by the Wellsbourne gene bank. Barry Murphy, who bred the original from a farm collection of Irish brassicas, describes it as an outstanding variety, with small tight sprouts and good for freezing. The plants are very neat and uniform.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 300
  • An Irish landrace with classic purple and white skin, growing to a good size. The golden flesh is very sweet and tasty, and the plants last 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 Average seeds per pack 450
  • This Northern Irish heritage variety is 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! Probably the same cultivar as Major Dunne, based on observation trials. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 450
  • A heritage swede returned to us from the Wellesbourne Gene Bank, UK. Like other native brassicas, it is hardy and disease-resistant. It has a delicate, mellow, sweet flavour, still remembered fondly by many. “The flesh,” says Andrew Williams, “is not tough at all and keeps well through winter”.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 450
  • A rare, smooth-skinned variety from Switzerland, the name translates to ‘fire ball’ in German. Described as being bolt resistant, and having spectacular, tender, ball-shaped roots with fantastic mild flavour. Very successful and absolutely delicious.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 300
  • A wonderful heirloom from Denmark, famous for slicing with long cylindrical roots. This tender and sweet variety with dark red flesh is also known as ‘Butter Slicer’ or ‘Cooks Delight’ because of its wonderful texture.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 300
  • This globe-shaped beetroot gets its name from the Italian word ‘rotonda’ meaning ‘round’. Even when the roots grow quite large they maintain their juicy sweetness, with a distinct earthy flavour. These beets are especially good roasted and store well.
    Average Seeds Per Pack: 300
  • This vigorous, quick-growing, brilliant yellow beet was developed by being rebred from old seed stocks. The round, golden roots have smooth skin and delicious, sweet-flavoured, bright yellow flesh. The colour keeps well, even when cooked. It’s also a delight in salads.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 300  
  • This variety is of Italian heritage and was named after the Roman General ‘Lucius Luccullus’, renowned for his splendid banquets and vast gardens some 2000 years ago. It was introduced in 1914 and won the RHS Award of Garden Merit. Quite hardy through the winter, with heavily ‘crimped’, bright, lush green leaves and white stalks that are almost like asparagus when cooked. Young flowering stalks in spring can be eaten like sprouting broccoli. It has the seal of approval from ‘Scoil Chroi’, in Galway who shared that “Lucullus was a big hit with students of all ages, they loved it, devouring it raw”.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 200
  • This variety has a mix of the many colours of different types of quinoa: tan, red, orange, and black. These plants make a stunning addition to any garden with their bright and colourful seedheads, not to mention the nutritional powerhouse of the seeds. Each colour has a slightly different attribute – sweeter, nuttier, or chewier - we hope you enjoy them all! Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 300
  • From the North of Chile, ‘Red Faro’ is both productive and attractive with red-pink foliage and cream seed heads. Less prone to mold and suitable for our cool, damper climate. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 300
  • Quinoa has been cultivated for about 5000 years and is indigenous to the Andean region of South America. This variety, named after the city of Temuco in the Araucanía Region of southern Chile, is a surprisingly easy and trouble-free crop. Direct sown in drills in April, it grew up to 1.5m tall, harvested in early September. A very nutritious crop, high in protein and essential amino acids. The seed contains bitter saponins (a chemical defence against birds), which needs to be washed out before use. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 300
  • This heritage bush variety from Russia is a productive early cropper. As a northern-climate tomato, this variety is suitable for growing even in wet and cool conditions. The round fruit are medium-sized, ripening to a deep golden yellow/amber colour. These mild, sweet fruits would be a welcome addition to any salad. Average seeds per pack 30
  • The ‘Rose from Bern’ is a Swiss heirloom, well suited to cooler climes. A reliable cordon-type producing round, thin-skinned, pinky-red fruit. Quite large and fleshy, these tomatoes are utterly juicy and delicious. Seed Guardian Mona has been growing this one for years as her family favourite. These versatile fruits can be eat fresh, sliced and cooked. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 30
  • This fabulous variety was bred by biodynamic growers in Germany. The plants have good resistance to fruit-splitting and blight. It yields very well, providing plenty of juicy oval-shaped plum tomatoes throughout the season. Firm skin means the fruit holds it shape when cut, perfect for salads and sandwiches. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 35
  • Won an award of merit from the RHS 1923. A deliciously tasting variety with more substance than modern Cos varieties. Hardy, it can be overwintered with little protection & has proved quite slug-resistant. Certified Organic. Average Seeds Per Pack: 200
  • This lovely bush variety presents a huge amount of scarlet small-to-medium, juicy fruit. An early ripener, their flavour is mild, fresh, and tangy. An early ripener.  Mrs. Ruck was a lady of Audley End Estate in Essex (now managed by English Heritage) and had passed on the seed when she moved away. Our seed came to us via the Eden Project in Cornwall. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 40
  • A Czech heirloom cordon variety, highly recommended by many who have grown it over the years. It is a very reliable, good cropper, ripening quite early with an abundance of medium-sized, round, tangy red fruits. Grows outside as well as under cover. Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 30
  • A variety named for an American civil war veteran born in 1822. This lovely loose-leaved lettuce has large, crisp, juicy leaves that are light green in colour tinged with bronze. Grows well even in poor weather.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 200
  • This variety was sent into us by Stephen Marsh, a long-standing supporter of our work. Describing it as a ‘beautiful butterhead’, Stephen used to grow this variety 50 years ago when it was highly sought after. In 2016 Stephen rediscovered it in a catalogue and sent us the seeds. Big, light green, tasty heads with tightly packed fleshy hearts. It is described as a spring/summer sown type, but we sowed in early autumn and it grew fine and healthy under cover.
    Certified Organic Average Seeds Per Pack: 200
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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