seed archive (1993-2013)

The Seed Archive has been permanently transferred to The Seed Temple in Estancia, NM. Please see

a public archive of healthy seeds collected from many places and people

seeds are alive. seeds need to be carefully stored in order to remain healthy and assure their germination. the seed archive is particularly interested in seed that is for food or medicinals, habitat creating as well as soil building. the archive only accepts, stores and loans viable, well-identified seeds.

the seed archive is housed in chicago seed is loaned for free to those who are committed to growing them, enjoying them and returning some of the next generation of seed back to store at the seed archive. some seed is in smaller quantities and needs to be grown out from year to year to increase its supply. if you are interested in being a grower, let me know.

common questions:

who has access to the seed archive?

the seed archive is a public access archive and resource for anybody anywhere who is interested and committed to sowing seeds and nurturing the resulting seedlings. seeds are kept alive only by people planting them.

what kind of seed do you have at the seed archive?

anything from medicinals, culinary, ornamental, habitat creating and soil building seeds. some seeds are more unusual or uncommonly found. some of these seeds are very old heirlooms that have been grown out and handed down for centuries.

the seed archive keeps a database that can be searched. let me know if you want it sent to you.

where do they come from?

The seed has come from many places. they have been gathered from other seed banks, from individual growers, a few specialized commercial sources or have been foraged.

how do i get seeds?

just ask for them. i will send you the amount you need as long as the archive has it and you need only return to the archive 2x what i send you. this is what grows the archive.

how many can i ask for?

as many as you feel you can responsibly care for and are appropriate for your growing site.

what if i don’t know what to grow or how to grow it?

the archive has some varieties of seed that need to be grown out more frequently than others. if you are willing to grow some, it is really helpful. also, you can always ask questions. it is part of the process that we share and learn from each other.

are there other ways of participating with the archive?

tell us your stories about growing, cooking, using seeds, volunteer to help come to a ‘swap n’ store’

what is a ‘swap n’ store’?

it is an opportunity to come together and share stories, process seed (lots of winnowing and hulling going on!), ask questions, share stories and food, swap seeds and donate seeds to the archive. ‘swap n’ share’ happens 4x yearly. contact the archive for the current year’s ‘swap n’ store’ dates.

how do i contact the archive?

send an e-mail