Native Seed Search. Preserving endangered Southwest native seeds


Native Seed Search in Tucson has preserved and saved multitudes of heirloom seeds including beans, squash, pepper, corn, eggplant, herbs, and a multitude of other vegetables. They were once given a medicine man’s pouch which contained sunflower seeds they’d never seen before. This previously unknown variety of sunflowers proved resistant to sunflower rust and was soon cross-bred with commercial species.

Native Seeds/SEARCH is a nonprofit seed conservation organization based in Tucson, Arizona. Our story began in 1983 following a profound realization. While working on a Meals for Millions project to assist the Tohono O’odham Nation with establishing gardens, NS/S co-founders Gary Nabhan and Mahina Drees presented tribal elders with broccoli and radish seeds. “What we are really looking for,” the elders replied, “are the seeds for the foods our grandparents used to grow.” This revelatory remark inspired the formation of Native Seeds/SEARCH as a collector and preserver of these endangered traditional seeds.

They are worth supporting.


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