Address: Irish Seed Savers Association, Capparoe, Scarriff, Co. Clare, Ireland   Phone: +353 61 921866   Email:

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Seed Week 2019 – Irish Seed Savers – General Manager

Seeds are the origins of food, we all need to eat, yet most of our food and food seed is imported. Few people consider the source of our food until it runs out. As a nation we are vulnerable to issues in transport, fuel, weather in other countries, and trade. Whether man-made disaster or natural disaster we maintain collections from which we can start the food cycle once again.

According to the Irish Environmental Network: “Biological diversity is a vital national asset that must be conserved to maintain a healthy and properly functioning environment, and to mitigate the worse impacts of climate change for future generations. A healthy natural environment is fundamental to all human well-being and to our economies too.”

Growing open pollinated vegetable seeds and fruit trees that have over time adapted to our environment, our aim is to inspire a lifelong respect and love for biodiversity, ensuring our food security to feed ourselves, and provide the public with life changing food growing and conservation skills. On our 20 acre working organic farm we have heritage seed gardens, heritage orchards, woodlands, and the country’s public seed bank. Curating over 180 varieties of heritage apple trees and 600 varieties of heritage and native food seeds, ours is a unique story in Ireland’s food heritage and one that continues to inspire.

As Ireland’s curator of the country’s heritage food seed and heritage apple tree collections, Irish Seed Savers Association CLG manage the country’s public seed bank, ensuring our vegetable and cereal seeds adapt to this every changing climate and soil. Working in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to protect our plant genetic resources, we are also involved in environmental protection through our work as a member of The Irish Environmental Network (IEN). Our ultimate goal is to protect our rich biodiversity for now and future generations. We work with several networks to ensure our work contributes to the protection of plant genetic resources in Ireland, the UK and Europe. These groups are the Genetic Resource Grant Aid Scheme which focuses on both plant and animal genetic resources; the Department of Agriculture’s Working Organic Seed Group to bring together seed producers around the country; The Irish Apple Association; The UK Apple Network; The Gaia Foundation’s UK and Ireland Seed Sovereignty Programme; the European Co-ordinator Network Let’s Liberate Diversity and the European community seed bank project, Dynaversity.

We have over 1,600 supporters who pay an annual subscription in support of our work. We communicate with them through monthly e-zines, twice yearly newsletters and regular contact by phone, email, in person at our 20 acre farm events and workshops, and through outreach through our schools programme and as part of our partnership with The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme to upskill professional growers to contribute to our research on seeds.

For further information and to find out how you can get involved with our work, please go to or come visit us in East County Clare.

Jennifer McConnell, General Manager at Irish Seed Savers Assoc.

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Opening Times
Tues - Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm
Sat 12pm - 4.30pm
Closed Sun - Mon
Entrance to Organic Seed Gardens, Orchards and Woodlands is free to children & subscribers.

Irish Seed Savers CLG - Registered Charity Number 20045029, CHY 13989
Certified Organic Number IE-ORG-02 | Licence no. 5629 | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Statement | © 2019

This project is supported by the Department of Social Protection and Pobal through the Community Services Programme.

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