Monday, January 11, 2010

Seed Savers Exchange Seed at Windy Acres Farm Shop

I have had organic gardens in 5 different locations over a 17 year haul and other than keeping the garden organic, doing my part to keep heirloom varieties of seed available has been my biggest gardening goal. My first step, way back then, was to find a company that had heirloom seeds available. Thankfully my search led me a company committed to saving seed that has been passed down from generation to generation.

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit, member supported organization that saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage, forming a living legacy that can be passed down through generations. SSE members have distributed an estimated 1 million samples of rare garden seeds since their founding nearly 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, that his parents brought from Bavaria when they immigrated to St. Lucas, Iowa in the 1870s.

Today Seed Savers Exchange is the largest non-governmental seed bank in the United States. They permanently maintain more than 25,000 endangered vegetable varieties, most having been brought to North America by members' ancestors who immigrated from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and other parts of the world.

Growing heirloom seeds took organic gardening to a whole new level for me. Finding varieties like the Cherokee Purple tomato and the French Charantais melon took me on a journey that lasted 17 years and I feel like I have only just begun to traverse this vast land of saving my own seeds.

Windy Acres Farm Shop is very proud to be the first location in Tennessee to make SSE seeds available. We will carry 56 varieties of seeds but will be happy to take requests for seed varieties. We will also carry started plants, all grown organically, of several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, onions, leeks and herbs. We will carry flower seeds as well as herbs and vegetables. If you would like us to start certain varieties for you please let us know before February 15th.

Coming Soon: We plan to place a large order of fruit trees and berry plants for anyone interested.


  1. This is very exciting! I follow your blog regularly and and have been meaning to make a trip up to your shop. You have so many things that I'm interested in investigating! (cow boarding, your grain and grain mill, fresh eggs, etc., etc., etc.) I had been thinking that I needed to pull out my Seed Savers Exchange catalog to start planning my garden for this next year, so this is really exciting! I hope to make a trip up to your shop (finally!) next week!

  2. Can't wait! I'm also interested in the fruit trees and berry plants.

  3. Hi LBO,
    I am so glad you are planning a trip to the shop soon. I should have the seeds in the shop next week and we can wade through beautiful seed packets and dream of our gardens, no matter what the temp outside.
    See you soon.