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

  • 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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Introduced in 1911, this old variety has semi globe roots and smooth dark red skin. Deep red flesh and glossy leaves that can make good greens. It matures early but also a single sowing can be harvested over a long period. Here are descriptions from the staff who tried a taste test - ‘moist, mouthwatering, sweet, juicy and tender’.
    Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Introduced in 1845, this wonderful cucumber does as it suggests and starts fruiting very quickly giving lots of short- medium dark green fruit. They have an excellent flavour, mild and sweet and crisp in texture. Keeps cropping over a long season. This variety is reputed to be quite hardy so may be worth trying outdoors in our short summers. Certified Organic
  • As the name implies, a turnip-shaped beetroot. Originally from North America and dating back to 1825. It has dark red, sweet flesh with occasional pink areas.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Now an Irish heirloom, probably once grown in the horticultural fields around Dublin. As the name suggests a great ‘cropper’ of delicious mild flavoured, medium size sprouts that keep on producing all through the vagaries of winter weather.
    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
  • This cordon variety was bred by biodynamic growers in Germany. A cordon rounded-oval plum tomato, has good resistance to blight and fruit splitting. Yields well, with a fruity flavour, firm skin, holds its shape when cut, perfect in a salad or sandwich. 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
  • Easy to grow, vigorous variety for spring and autumn sowing. Mildew resistant. Has lovely glossy green leaves that are tender and delicate. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    Also known as bird’s beak chilli and Chile de árbol (Tree Chilli, in Spanish). Plants grow quite tall so need some space but they reward the gardener with a great crop of medium hot chillies, 10,000 to 30,000 on the Scoville scale. The peppers start out green and turn a bright red color as they mature. Certified Organic
  • This pea was widely cultivated in the 1800’s, also known as Sangsters No. 1. An article in the New York Times 1881 describes bushels being sold every spring on both sides of the Atlantic. There is even a drawing of this pea and others by Charles Darwin in 1898. It has been given a new lease of life on repatriation to us from the Vavilov Russian gene bank. A tall vine, with prolific quantities of pods full of sweet peas, best eaten while young. Good disease resistance. The peas can also be left to mature and dry off to be used as a soup pea in winter. Certified Organic
  • The leaves of this variety, (from the 1800’s) are indeed ‘dagger’ like, narrow, long and graceful, purple-red in colour with a metallic lustre. They grow in a thick cluster and picked for a beautiful addition to the salad bowl. The roots are long, smooth and spindle shaped with blood red tender flesh. 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
  • Popular, Italian heirloom courgette.  The dark green fruit are long (can reach up to 60cm and remain tender) and are distinctively ridged. They taste great and look very decorative when sliced and cooked. The plants are vigorous so give them plenty of space, they will produce well through the whole season, outdoors as well as under cover. Certified Organic
  • ‘Heavy cropping yellow pencil pod type beans, virtually string-less with excellent flavour’ says supporter Liam Gaffney who sent in seed for us to trial and save. Certified Organic
  • Coral Pea

    2.95
    A reliable garden green pea, not too tall with good yields producing early with many  delicious peas (up to 8 per pod). They hold their sweetness well. 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
  • 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 seeds came originally from Hopi Elders, the history of this corn goes back to the Anasazi people some 500 years ago. The seed corn was found in clay pots, hence the name. It grows very tall in the tunnel and gives large cobs of varying stunning colours from violet and black to shades of red, yellow, gold and cream truly as beautiful as jewels. This corn is a maize type, more for grinding into flour than eating as a sweet ‘corn on the cob’.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Out of stock
    A landrace from Guatemala. These are mixed beans with three distinct coloured beans…white/cream, speckled brown, or speckled black and pink. The flowers also have beautiful different colours; red, white and peach. Strong, healthy plants produce enormous numbers of very sweet and tender runner beans, both long and short, which are delicious if left to ripen and then shelled. They also grow well outdoors and have been one of our most consistently popular crops. Certified Organic
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Out of stock
    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. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    This is a selection from ‘Scarlet’ runner, so the plants have the same attributes. However, this variety produces beautiful dark lustrous beans which can be dried and used in soups and stews. Occasionally a plant may revert back to its origin giving you the more common mauve/black beans! Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    An heirloom from Italy also called ‘Nero di Milano’, with cylindrical, smooth, dark green fruits best eaten about 15cm long. It is a bush variety with open growth and is quite early maturing. 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
  • ‘The Rose from Bern’ is a Swiss heirloom well suited to cooler climes. A cordon type producing thin skinned round pink/ red fruit quite large and fleshy that are utterly juicy and delicious. Seed Guardian Mona has been growing this one for years as her family favourite to eat fresh, sliced and cooked, reliable and versatile. 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
  • 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
  • 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 a stalwart amongst gardeners for a long time. Originally a breeding line from the National Vegetable Research Station in England.  It is an early, prolific root, with lovely dark colour and excellent taste and cooking qualities. Can last well into winter. Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    This tomato variety comes from Siberia. It germinates at low temperatures and grows well in cool conditions. The large, slightly flattened fruits are red, juicy and ripen early. The bushes are quite large and so benefit from some sort of support. We trialled some plants outside in addition to those we grew under cover and they performed extremely well ripening sooner than those indoors. Certified Organic
  • This is a very rare variety coming from the Amish people of Pennsylvania. A cordon, the fruit is slightly plum shaped, medium sized, pink/red, giving many trusses full of fruit. They have a lovely fresh sweet but tangy flavour. Excellent sliced for salads, but good cooked too. 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
  • ‘Ruby Regis’ Lavatera

    3.25 (3.25 incl VAT)
    A stunning upright bushy annual with masses of deep veined funnel shaped bright pink blooms. Our seed came from ‘Bôite de Graines’ seed company in France via former staff member Flora Barteau.
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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