Heirloom Seeds

An increasing number of farmers are becoming interested in growing their harvest using organic methods and heirloom seeds. But what is an heirloom seed?

An heirloom variety is a plant that has been passed down from generation to generation. Vegetables from heirloom seeds often have a rich taste, distinctive shapes, and come in an abundance of colours. Importantly, the seeds from heirloom plants tend to be genetically stable and can be saved and used for future harvests indefinitely (as opposed to hybrid seed varieties, where the desirable properties of the seeds disappear after the first generation).

Using heirloom seeds also has a social aspect. If we preserve and use them, we are contributing to ecological sustainability by encouraging biodiversity and promoting organic farming. As well as this, heirloom seeds are a representation of a region’s culture and heritage; this is valuable to conserve, but once a variety is no longer used, it is impossible to reproduce.

There are countless providers of heirloom/organic seeds across the world, but here is a small selection to get you started:

  • Sativa – online organic seed shop in Switzerland (https://shop.sativa-rheinau.ch/)
    • Large variety of organic seeds
    • Different quantities: from small (1 gr) to large (hundreds of kilos)
  • ProSpecieRara – Swiss foundation dedicated to the social-cultural and genetic diversity of plants and animals (https://www.prospecierara.ch/ )
    • Online catalogue
    • Large variety of seeds
  • Seminte (legume & flori) – online shop for organic and/or heirloom seeds in Romania: http://semintelegumeflori.ro/ (+40 735 956 447)
    • Large variety of heirloom and / or organic seeds (vegetables, flowers etc.)
    • Worldwide distribution
    • Different quantities: from small (1 gr) to large (hundreds of kilos)
  • Kokopelli – association from France for the freedom of seeds and humus and the protection of food biodiversity (https://kokopelli-semences.fr/ )
  • Worldwide distribution
  • European offices in France, Belgium and Switzerland
  • A collection of over 2,200 varieties, out of which there are over 650 sorts of tomatoes, over 200 types of pepper, and over 150 kinds of cucumbers and others