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 2023 Heirloom Seed Catalogue

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  • 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
  • This dependable heritage variety originally introduced as ‘Sutton’s Little Marvel’ in 1900, was lovingly grown by former colleague and active seed guardian Liz Bacon, in Co. Tipperary. Vigorous dwarf plants with tightly packed long pods, each containing 6-7 dark green peas. A high-yielding variety, producing well over a long season.
  • Out of stock
    These fruits ripen to a beautiful, glossy, deep red, and are delicious both raw and cooked. A very dependable cropper, rich and sweet even in cool summers. The plants are compact but productive (equal to or better than many F1 hybrid types).  Certified Organic
  • Out of stock
    This yellow variety was donated to us by enthusiastic seed-saver Jaap Vlaming, and comes originally from the Limburg province of the Netherlands. It grows vigorously from a spring sowing and is good for winter storage. It is proven by some gardeners that this variety less prone to carrot root fly than the orange varieties. The vibrant, golden-yellow roots have crisp smooth flesh, and are delicious cooked or raw. Certified Organic
  • Land Cress

    3.50
    Also known as American cress, these dark green leaves have a spicy flavour like water cress, but the plants are much easier to grow. Compact plants form attractive lobed leaves in rosettes. They thrive in the summer and autumn, but will also happily carry on throughout winter due to their cold tolerance. It’s surprising this delicious, peppery plant isn’t grown more widely!
  • The seeds of this variety were brought back to Irish Seed Savers from an international slow-food gathering in Turin, Italy. A vigorous, hardy crop, with wonderfully large, light green leaves.
  • Kuttiger is an old-type white carrot, first established in Europe in the 15th century. Now quite scarce, these types were very commonly grown until the introduction of orange carrots. With its snowy-white colour, broad shoulders, and stocky shape, this variety could be mistaken for a parsnip in appearance, though in taste it still has the mild and subtly earthy flavour of a carrot.
  • Out of stock
    One of our most popular varieties, repatriated from the Vavilov Gene Bank in Russia. The plants grow up to 1.5m, so need good support. They produce an abundance of delicious sweet, round peas, 6-8 per pod, described by many as ‘a wonderful crop’. The plants have good mildew resistance and are less prone to sprouting in the pod during a wet summer. Certified Organic
  • This variety was repatriated from the Vavilov Institute for Plant Genetic Resources in Russia, and, as is the norm with most gene banks, background information is scant and we haven't been able to locate any references to this particular variety to-date. We have however unearthed the root of the expression "tow-head" or "toe-head," which was used to describe a person with blond hair; it comes from the name for the fine, oft-tangled fibers left behind in the hackles, when processing flax into linen! The familiar wispy blue flowers of this variety transform into beautiful golden orbs full of plump, nutritious seeds. It's very easy to grow and to save the seeds if you're happy to share some with the birds who have that inherent ability to determine the optimum time for seed maturation! Grows to 80cm, 5 seed heads per plant. Sow: March/April Certified Organic
  • Honesty (White Flower)

    3.75 (3.75 incl VAT)
    This very unique white variety was donated to us by Philip McSheffrey of Donegal. Philip’s uncle John had brought it over from Greenock in Scotland in the 1970s, and the family have grown it ever since. Although there was one year when the family’s seed harvest failed, luckily they had given some seed to a 94-year-old lady who saved this rare flower from extinction. It has the most stunning display of pure white, foaming flowers, from which you can harvest the shimmering cellophane-like seed pods for displays. Certified Organic
  • Wonderful vigorous mustard greens with lush big, brilliant-green leaves. The flavour of these leaves is delicious and not too strong compared with other more pungent mustards. Especially nice steamed and served with a lemon juice and soya sauce dressing. Certified Organic
  • This prolific dwarf variety produces uniform plants with lovely yellow pods and wonderfully golden/brown beans when mature. The young pods can be steamed or stir-fried, and the mature beans can be cooked up in soups or stews.
    Certified Organic
  • An improved cultivar, bred at the Albert Agricultural College, Glasnevin, Dublin. A medium-length spring variety that performed very well when grown out at Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin. Certified Organic
  • A hardy annual, with characteristic pungent leaves used in salads, curries and pickles. This variety was bought to us from the ‘Kenyan Seed Savers’, very vigorous and easy to grow. For a constant supply sow direct, sparsely and often from early spring onwards. ANNUAL Certified Organic
  • A variety that goes back to 1871, this is a great winter vegetable with good sized, globed roots and creamy-white flesh. Very tasty in soups and stews or even roasted, with a distinctive ‘celery’ flavour. Certified Organic
  • We had seven seeds in a packet from a German gene bank, dated 1999 with the place of origin given as Sweden, the description ‘vegetable marrow’. The plants grew amazingly well, quickly covering an entire bed in the tunnel with their small, tasty courgettes, though this crop comes into its own as the more traditional marrow.
    Certified Organic
  • This translates from French as ‘curled dark green’, an accurate description of this old French variety. The tightly curled, fresh-tasting leaves stand clear of the ground on long stalks for clean and easy harvesting. This variety does well through winter, and can be grown under cover for a year-round supply. BIENNIAL Certified Organic
  • French Honeysuckle

    3.75 (3.75 incl VAT)
    A hardy perennial, once seen never forgotten! This 1m tall open bush has silver rimmed leaves and fantastic, fragrant, dense spikes of crimson red flowers, which are rich in nectar. Best grown in a sunny position but likes moist soil. A member of the legume family, this plant is also nitrogen fixing. Certified Organic
  • Foxglove

    3.75 (3.75 incl VAT)
    This striking native wildflower loves the edge of shady places - hedgerows banks, woodlands, mountains and moors. An elegant plant with dozens of purple, inner-speckled, tubular flowers that cluster around a tall stem, reaching 1.5m in height. As a biennial, the plants will produce foliage in their first year, with the magical flowering spikes developing in the second. Certified Organic
  • This is a Florence bulb fennel, a wonderfully ornamental vegetable grown for its swollen leaf bases and edible leaves. Ideal for cool-weather growing. 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 later in the season the seeds have a lovely anise flavour. SHORT-LIVED PERENNIAL 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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