Irish Seed Savers Association exists as a living testimony to the richness and wealth of the agricultural legacy of Irish ancestors. Irish Seed Savers Association was founded by Anita Hayes in 1991. The work was initially done on a small farm in Co. Carlow before moving to Capparoe, Scarriff in 1996.
They were very fortunate to have the help of Dr. Keith Lamb who had conducted the original research into native Irish apples in the 1940s and Dr. Michael Hennerty former head of the Department of Horticulture in University College Dublin who has continued to provide wisdom and expertise. In 1996 the project moved to its present site in Scariff and in 1997 a FAS community employment scheme developed by Bridget Carlin secured employment for many staff.
Through the hard work of staff, volunteers and the generosity of subscribers and friends of Irish Seed Savers we have grown steadily since that time.
Their main objective is the conservation of Ireland’s very special and threatened plant genetic resources. Our work focuses on the preservation of heritage varieties from all over the world that are suitable for Ireland’s unique growing conditions.
Irish Seed Savers Association maintains a seed bank with over 600 non-commercially available varieties of seeds.
At Irish Seed Savers Association, as well as conserving and distributing wonderful rare and heritage seed varieties, they also encourage the skills of saving your own seed, empowering people to do this in their own gardens, small holdings or farms.
All their 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.