Seed Bank

Seed Diversity and History Project

We are searching for vegetable, herb, and flower varieties that are not in general circulation (non-commercial varieties, ethnic varieties, and especially those that have stories or family histories associated with the seed).

Do you have seed that you are saving that has been passed down through your family, or do you know someone who is saving heirloom seed? If so, we are especially interested in rescuing and preserving these varieties. We are also seeking stories or family histories (no matter how brief) associated with family heirloom seed. These stories often provide valuable clues about the origin of varieties, how they were used, and special qualities such as disease resistance, earliness, storage quality, and regional adaptability. They also provide valuable insights and documentation about ethnic uses, previous gardening practices, agricultural history, or insights into the social and cultural history of times gone by.

Please email Jeff McCormack if you would like to donate seed for this project. Send any information you can provide, especially the variety name (if it has a name), describe its origin, growth habit, special qualities and family history as best you can. If the seed is not in our seed bank, we'll send you instructions on how to send in the seed. We may ask you some questions about how you would like the seed (and any stories associated with the seed) to be handled. After the seed has been received, we will preserve the seed in our seed bank, and grow out a small portion for increase and further documentation of the variety. A portion of the seed may eventually be made available to other seed banks.