Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm, Decorah

#6 of 14 in Things to do in Decorah
Farm · Tourist Spot
Seed Savers Exchange was founded in Missouri in 1975 by Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy. Diane's grandfather entrusted to them the seeds of two garden plants, ‘Grandpa Ott's’ morning glory and ‘German Pink’ tomato. These seeds, brought by Grandpa Ott's parents from Bavaria when they immigrated to Iowa in the 1870s, became the first two varieties in the collection. Diane and Kent went on to form a network of gardeners interested in preserving heirloom varieties and sharing seeds. Today, with 13,000 members and 20,000 plant varieties, Seed Savers Exchange makes its home on 890 scenic acres in Winneshiek County, Iowa, at Heritage Farm.

Seed Savers Exchange conserves biodiversity by maintaining a collection of over 20,000 different varieties of heirloom and open-pollinated plants, varieties with the ability to regenerate themselves year after year. These seeds (and tissue cultures or other plant materials, depending on how a plant reproduces) have the power to withstand unforeseen pestilence and plant disease, climate change, and limited habitat, and to stop dinnertime boredom forever.
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Seed Savers Exchange Heritage Farm reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
94 reviews
  • I am a member of the exchange and visited while the visitors center was closed. Still was able to walk the trails and check out the gardens. Very serene. I believe in the work they do, so that was....  more »
  • My husband and I came across this little farm on a trip through northeast Iowa. They grow heirloom flowers, fruits and vegetables from all over the world. You can walk around the farm and then shop...  more »
  • I would give this place more stars if I could! Amazing place, with a great mission. They have wonderful educational classes. I love to try the heirloom tomatoes and apples when they are in season.
  • This place is truly amazing!! We learned so much! I wish guided tours were easier to come by as we left with lots of wondering. Also, stop in the visitors center first and ask for a map! I did not dress for the amount of walking there is and wish I had!

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