Citizen Science Corps

The Citizen Science Corps presents an exciting way to get involved in the work of Seed Savers Exchange. Since 2011, our members from around the country have helped us evaluate and share the varieties in our seed collection. As a result, we have a deeper understanding of our collection and have made more varieties available through the Exchange. We are proud to offer two programs within the Citizen Science Corps that will continue this important work. We hope you will join us.

man harvesting melons

ADAPT Program

Have you ever wanted to help select the new varieties that are introduced in the Seed Savers Exchange catalog each year? This is your chance! Every year, our in-house Evaluation Program documents several hundred varieties from the collection, many of which are outstanding in their performance and flavor. Through the ADAPT program, you provide input to help our Evaluation Program select the best of these varieties to introduce into our catalog. All you have to do is grow three varieties of a single crop type side-by-side and rank them on key characteristics. It’s that simple. Using your feedback, we’ll determine which varieties proved most popular and use this information to decide what to introduce in our seed catalog.

Join ADAPTADAPT Program Details (PDF)
woman in okra patch

2017 RENEW participant Bobbie Ann Hutchins standing in front of ‘Whidley White’ okra in her garden in Mooringsport, Louisiana.

RENEW Program

Seed Savers Exchange launched the RENEW program to help meet the challenge of regenerating a large and diverse collection within the confines of our Heritage Farm headquarters. Some crop types in our collection, such as cowpeas and lima beans, do not always reach seed maturity in the short Northeast Iowa growing season. Our collections of other crop types, such as tomatoes and beans, are so large that we can’t possibly grow as many varieties as we need to at Heritage Farm alone. We thus welcome members who are experienced seed savers to help us regenerate these varieties through the RENEW program. Participants in the program must follow strict parameters regarding population size, isolation distance, and harvest quantities. The time and effort to grow these varieties from seed to seed are significant, but this work goes to the heart of our mission to collect, grow, and share heirloom seeds.

RENEW Program Details (PDF)

To participate in or inquire about either of these programs, please contact Steffen Mirsky at or (563) 382-5990 ext 165. Together we can make a bigger impact in preserving our diverse food heritage.

Become a Member