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 French heritage variety has golf-ball sized, pale green round fruits. The plants are heavy croppers, growing large and producing many fruits over a long period. Popular as a stuffed vegetable, commonly eaten with meat and tomatoes. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 10
  • Crown Flax

    3.50
    Repatriated from the Vavilov Institute for Plant Genetic Resources in Russia by Irish Seed Savers, this is an Irish bred flax variety of note. Referenced by Dr. GDH Bell (Cambridge) in his book 'Cultivated Plants of the Farm' 1948, he explained that "pre 1940's the flax grown for the United Kingdom, by Ireland, had been of Russian and Dutch origin. Breeding work commenced on these stocks by mass selection and were an improvement on the originals but they were subsequently given place to the Irish bred varieties, the best of which include the variety Liral Crown". Flax is grown both for its nutritional seeds and for its fibers. Various parts of the plant have been used in the past to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets, soap, and bowstrings. It is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens for it's exquisite ethereal mauve/blue flowers. Grows to 60cm, 5 seed heads per plant Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 300
  • Burdock

    3.50
    A robust biennial plant of the Asteraceae family, known mostly for its ‘burrs’ which stick to humans and animals alike, and for the old-fashioned classic drink of ‘Dandelion and Burdock’. Purple flowers are surrounded by hooked bracts, cleverly enclosing the seeds through winter until attaching themselves to passing animals. Known for its medicinal properties, the 17th century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper wrote 'the seed being drunk in wine forty days together, doth wonderfully help the sciatica' and also 'the juice of the leaves, or rather the roots themselves, given to drink with old wine, doth wonderfully help the bitings of serpent'. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 25
  • This heirloom variety produces delicious and beautiful blue-green crinkled leaves. It is compact and very cold-hardy. Commonly eaten boiled as greens, it can also be chopped fresh for salads when young. Average seeds per pack 200
  • This rare landrace kale from the Friesland area of northern Germany can no longer be found in commercial catalogues. “Highly praised and almost gone’”, according to grower Reinhard Lühring, “In the shade of the East Friesen Palm we cannot stroll under the southern sun, but we enjoy the green all winter long”. A very tall curly kale that can be harvested from late summer all the way through the winter and into the following spring. Average seeds per pack 200
  • This popular European heirloom is a quick growing, early-maturing autumn variety. It is renowned for being especially tall with a long, thin stem. Its leaves are light green and it has a delicious sweet flavour, ideal for salads and soups. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 250
  • This ex-commercial variety is of very early maturing, making it particularly suitable for autumn use, though it can hold overwinter too. It has light green leaves, straight shanks and good flavour. Ideal for soups, stews and roasting. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 250
  • This mid-late variety is known for its bolt-resistance, even in especially hot conditions. It produces a half-open, good-sized head, with round, ruffled leaves that are bright green, turning deep red at the edge. Crisp in texture with crunchy ribs, this lettuce remains sweet and juicy for a good amount of time in the ground. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 200
  • A very old variety mentioned in the book ‘Les Plantes Potageres’ in 1885. Quick to grow, producing small, tight rosettes of tasty light green leaves and loose heads. In 1904 it was listed by 116 seed merchants, yet now you would find it hard to buy anywhere! Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 200
  • Millet is a highly versatile crop, one of the major grains to be grown in Europe in the Middle Ages. This variety is a ‘proso’ or ‘red’ millet type, first cultivated in Asia more than 4,000 years ago. It is produced for its edible high-protein seeds, which are often consumed in flatbread and porridge or eaten like rice. We found it very easy to grow this variety in East Clare, and with its beautiful panicles of small florets and shimmering amber/orange seed it was a stunning addition to the garden. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 2000
  • Long Red Florence, also known as Italian Red Torpedo, is an Italian heirloom originating from Tuscany sometime in the 1800s. This variety is known for its long purple-red ‘torpedo’ shaped bulbs, which have a delicious mild, sweet flavour. Can be used raw in salads as well as cooked. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 200
  • This is a very popular overwintering onion from Japan. The big, delicious, golden bulbs of this variety store exceptionally well, up to a year. Perfect for roasting and soups. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 200
  • Sometimes known as a ‘Welsh onion’, this is an easy to grow perennial onion that doesn’t develop a bulb, but rather forms a cluster of lush green stems much like scallions but a little broader. To harvest, keep cutting the stems to eat fresh, either raw or cooked. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 200
  • A unique Dutch heritage pea, ‘Blauwshokker’ translates as ‘blue pod’, referencing the stunning indigo-blue pods of this variety. The vines reach 1.8m in height, with striking bi-coloured purple/blue flowers that add great ornamental value to the garden. The sweet, green pods can be eaten young as mangetout, but this pea is especially wonderful in soups and stews, as was the tradition in Holland and Germany. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 50
  • This is a lovely, reasonably compact variety, reaching a little under 1m in height. A fast-growing early cropper, suitable for either autumn or spring sowings, though may need additional protection when temperatures are cold. The tasty peas are sweet, delicious eaten fresh, cooked or frozen. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 50
  • This is a vigorous, thick-stemmed variety. Reaching heights of 2.5-3m, adequate support is definitely required for this robust pea. Lovely white flowers and soft marbled green leaves develop as the plant grows, giving way to a plethora of pods. Highly productive, with pods containing an average of 8 large peas developing well into the season. The peas are delicious – very sweet and crunchy when raw, softening after cooking. If you have the space, this is a highly recommended variety to grow. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 50
  • This sweet and flavourful red frying pepper comes from Southern Italy. The tall bush plants may need some support as they become weighed down with plentiful fruits throughout the season. This variety produces lots of bright green fruits developing a deep red colour as they ripen. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 35
  • A delightful Japanese heirloom squash with deeply ribbed skin. It is an early ripening variety, green-black when young but turning a warm buff orange colour as it cures. The small fruits are slightly nutty in flavour with a smooth and creamy texture. Excellent when roasted. Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 10
  • A Pumpkin for cool conditions. A stunning variety with sweet, thick, delicious flesh and beautiful slate blue-grey skin. Kindly donated to us by supporter Cora Hanley, and wow, what a find! Originally bred by the Gill Brothers seed company of Portland, Oregon, this variety was reselected by Oregon breeder and author of ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ Carol Deppe for cool soil emergence, large seeds, thick flesh, long storability, and vigorous growth. Average seeds per pack 10
  • Australia is the land that gave birth to the Blues - at least in the world of squash and pumpkins. This one looks and tastes great and does so for an extremely long time - up to two years of storage life! ‘Queensland Blue’ has been around since the 1800s, once favoured for “Grabeen Gullen Pie” by early settlers who hollowed out the pumpkin, filled with it with joints of possum, and baked it in a bed of hot coals. We prefer ours in soups and curries! Certified Organic Average seeds per pack 10
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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