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

Most Recent ISSA News

joint statement on new EU seed legislation


History of Seed Saving

Why should anyone save their own seeds year after year? Surely the big seed firms are constantly bringing out new varieties, which are more disease-resistant and give higher yields than anything available before? Perhaps not. When gardeners saved their seed year after year, they automatically collected from plants which grew well in the area ...

Basic Botany for Beginners

Classification A system of universally recognised nomenclature (or naming) is used to classify all living things. Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish scientist, invented it in 1727. He used two names, e.g. Homo sapiens are human beings. This is a genus name (Homo), a group of closely related species, and a species name (sapiens). Usually only members of ...

10 Reasons to Save Seeds

Biodiversity- This is not something that can be applied to small sections of our planet or special areas of the natural world. Biodiversity includes the interconnection of an eco-system and the mutual relationships between different living beings including agricultural biodiversity. It is more than ‘genes’, it is the whole inter-related complex of living organisms that sustain ...

Bedford Monarch Parsnips- Selecting for seed production

Back in the spring of 2009 the gardeners at Capparoe planted around 300 Bedford monarch parsnips and wanted to save the plants for seed production.So the gardeners took away all those which didn't look too great.They took away the ones that were too skinny or too fat.and the ones that were too divided.and all the ...

Saving the Seeds-BRASSICACEAE Family

The brassicas are insect pollinated (bees love them). All the below need to be separated from other varieties of their species by 1,500m, except for rocket and radish, which only require a distance of 750m!Broccolli from Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and Kohlrabi. These are all brassica oleracea.Turnip and Chinese cabbage (eg. Mizuna, Pok Choi), ...


Allium flowers are pollinated by insects and varieties need to be separated by at least 1,5000m. All leeks (allium ampeloprasum) will cross with each other, but not with any other members of this family.All onion varieties of the species allium cepa will cross with each other, but not with any other allium species - although ...

History and Origins-BRASSICACEAE Family

BRASSICACEAE FamilyThe "parent" of most common brassicas - cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprout, kohlrabi - is the wild cabbage, one species of which grows on the coast through southern England and western France down to N.W. Spain, another from N.E. Spain to N.Italy. Kalebrassica and is still the closest to wild cabbage and the ...

History and Origins-ALLIACEAE or AMARYLLIDACEAE Family

ALLIACEAE or AMARYLLIDACEAE FamilyThe cultivated members of this family - Onions, Shallots, Leeks, Chives, and Garlic - all belong to the genus Allium. Onions, leeks and garlic are known to have been cultivated by the Ancient Egyptians as early as 3000BC. Garlic is one of the worlds oldest cultivated plants, having been cultivated, it is ...

Why save seeds?

Why do seeds need safeguarding?Imagine you are a small farmer, growing what you need to feed your family. Every year you plant seed from the grains and vegetables which your family have grown for generations. One day a stranger arrrives on your doorstep asking about your crops and you show him your healthy fields and ...

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