Connecting seed savers to foster the preservation of local heritage seed for home, school and community gardens

Membership is available to home, school and community gardeners in New Zealand.

Your annual membership fee gives you access to:

  • The seed catalogue
  • Our growing online resources library
  • Community support for all your gardening questions
  • Priority invitations to our workshops and events
  • Support and guidance for becoming a seed guardian if you opt to take your gardening to the next level
How it

Seeds are strictly for members only

Original Seed Shed

We are a charitable trust

Our history

Why we started

The Southern Seed Exchange was founded in 1992 with the aim to preserve plant seeds threatened by extinction.

Traditionally seed growing was in the hands of farmers and gardeners, but with the growth of large seed supply companies with their emphasis on regular shape, size, colour and transportability, many of the traditional old varieties were lost. A staggering 90% of seed varieties are estimated to have been lost in the last 120 years.

The Seed Exchange aimed to preserve as many of the old varieties as possible and make them available to home gardeners. Seed would be local cultivars i.e. grown to the local conditions, or heritage or heirloom cultivars or seed that is no longer available commercially or seed which has been saved in a family for a number of generations.



More for

Access our resource base


2023 Annual General Meeting

Please join us for our AGM at the Botanic Gardens 1pm, Friday 1st December We will be in the same place as last year, in

Garden Open Day 19th February

Click to Share Event: We are happy to announce an Open Day at Richard Watson’s garden in Hawarden on the 19th Feb. Richard is a

Members also get exclusive access to our Q&A area, digital resources and first priority event invitations

Join us to get full access
Help us to preserve the genetic diversity of our food for the generations to come
Seed Swap


4 May 2024

We’ve moved the seed bank to the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and are ready for packing orders


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Seed Swap

Autumn Seed Swap 4th May
CHS Kiosk, Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Free for members, $5 koha for non-members