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I came across Seed Savers Exchange at the Green Festival, they are perfect for anyone who has a garden or is thinking of having one. Here you can either exchange seeds that you have too many of or, if you don't have any to exchange, you can buy seeds from others! What a great idea. They started this non-profit organization about 35 years ago in order to help farmers grow and save seeds, so they started a group of people who would grow each others seeds as a back up system. The organization grew so much that they got into a point where they needed to keep the seeds in one place, so they started a seed bank and began releasing a catalog to support the seed exchange. Today they have over 13,000 members across the country and every year they release a new catalog with a listing of all varieties their members want to share with people. You can also find the list and buy seeds on their website.

They have several kinds of seeds in their catalog, including vegetables, herbs and flowers.

I also came across a very cool program they launched called "Sell seeds instead of candy bars!". Here's a quick intro to it: Seed Savers has developed a new fundraising program as a healthy, sustainable alternative to other school fundraising programs. Benefit your school, your students, and the gardening public. Give children seeds to sell and they will grow, too, in the process. Seeds to Grow is a project of Seed Savers Exchange that promotes heirloom gardening.

A little story about them, from their site:
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations.

Our mission is to save North America's diverse, but endangered, garden heritage for future generations by building a network of people committed to collecting, conserving and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, while educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity.

At the heart of Seed Savers Exchange are the dedicated members who have distributed hundreds of thousands of heirloom and open pollinated garden seeds since our founding 35 years ago. Those seeds now are widely used by seed companies, small farmers supplying local and regional markets, chefs and home gardeners and cooks, alike.

Seed Savers Exchange was founded in 1975 by Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy to honor this tradition of preserving and sharing. Their collection started when Diane's terminally-ill grandfather gave them the seeds of two garden plants, Grandpa Ott's morning glory and German Pink tomato. Grandpa Ott's parents brought the seeds from Bavaria when they immigrated to St. Lucas, Iowa in the 1870s.

Today, the 890-acre Heritage Farm, near Decorah, Iowa, is our home. We maintain many thousands of heirloom garden varieties, most having been brought to North America by members' ancestors who emigrated from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and other parts of the world.

Unlike Fort Knox, Heritage Farm is not surrounded by security fences and guards. Our perimeter is patrolled by bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, deer, raccoons and other wildlife. The farm is ringed by hiking trails that take visitors through majestic scenery, past our certified organic preservation gardens, historic orchard and ancient White Park Cattle.

They even give tours of their farm. Way to go Seed Savers Exchange!


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