Assure a variety of quality seeds in your garden by Native Seed Search

Marsha Habib

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Native seeds

For over 35 years, Native Seed Search preserves and saves the Greater Southwest people’s varieties of agricultural seeds with their wild relatives. As a result, these arid-adapted crops may avail all peoples and support a changing world. Native Seed SEARCH is a non-profit seed preservation organization located in Tucson, Arizona, in the United States. Currently, they offer over 500 varieties of seeds that are distributed through their retail store in Tucson. The acronym of SEARCH is Southwest Endangered Aridlands Resource ClearingHouse.

I guess most of the gardeners like me use their varieties of seeds in their garden or field. This organization saves the traditional crops seeds and their other types of seeds in their seed bank to easily supply local farmers to encourage planting. Because of the availability of seeds, farmers and gardeners in the different communities can grow healthy crops in any season. 

How to buy seeds from them?

buy native seeds

All year-round, the new varieties of seed are regenerated  and new building projects are going up by this organization. You can buy different kinds of seeds by seeing Native Seed Search’s colorful catalogue online or hardcopy. Moreover, the eye-catchy native seed search catalogue will inspire you to order each item of the seed. You can also find a detailed description of your desired seed from origin to planting method. 

What kind of seed Native Seed Search offer?

You can choose any of the seeds offered from their Seed Bank collection. Also, they carry different varieties from outside the collection to provide a more prominent variety. Normally they provide-

01. Open Pollinated Seeds:

OP varieties preserve those seeds saved from the parent plant and will grow with the same components to prevent crossing.

02. Heirlooms And Landraces:

Landrace or heirloom varieties have a long historical connection to the Greater Southwest. Those seeds are adapted to local environmental conditions known as Landraces and its focus on farmer developed crops. Heirlooms are related in that they are grown and distributed overages.

03. Organic Growing Methods:

Native seed search is not a USDA certified organic company, but their current growing practices meet and often exceed organic certification standards. They could provide you with all the information about the specific growing conditions of any seed offered by them if you needed it. 

04. Safe Seeds and GMOs:

This company is a member of the Safe Seed Initiative, so they do not buy, sell or use genetically modified seeds. So all of their seeds are GMO-free and non cross-pollinated by GMO or hybrid seed stock.  

05. No Limitations on Seed:

Native seed search supports free access to crop variety and supports indigenous communities’ rights, and all farmers benefit equitably from the crops and correlated knowledge they developed. This company’s seeds are not to be used for commercial breeding purposes with a patent outcome unless there are written agreements with the seeds’ originators in the NS/S collection.

Listing of Available seeds in Native Seed Search

native seed search

They have some uncommon varieties of seeds that can’t be found in other seed stores. Different types of unique seeds like beans, Hopi sweet corn, chile peppers, rattlesnake beans, gourds, greens, native herbs, melons, squash, tomatoes and tomatillos are available online and in-store. Desert-hardy familiar vegetables for gardening like arugula, beets, carrots, cucumber, and kale are their new addition to the seed family. 

More than that, some exciting products such as chile powders and flakes, dried beans, grains, blue cornmeal, and organic popped amaranth are their additional unique products. A blend of chiles, spices and fruits named Mole powder is available in different combinations to mix into sauces to serve over chicken or fish. 

Various Equipment to saves your seeds by Native seed search

From beginners to pro, all of us know what grows most suitable in our garden. Productive plants can deliver the most suitable seeds that can provide the tastiest fruits and vegetables all year round. The gardener can collect or protect their seeds with different kinds of Equipment like blossom bags, foil packets, seed saving envelopes, tassel bags and many more. So they can sustain by their own supply of seeds.

Other Services provided by Native Seed Search

Native seed search presented some other support to the farmers and gardeners to make seed storing and gardening easy. Some of them are- Gift cards, crafts, books, Greeting cards, Canvas print and many more.

Membership and Grants:

The organization has a different membership program and urges donations to support their essential seed storage work. Native Seeds search also distributes ten free seed packets per household per year to Native Americans living in the Greater Southwest.

Gardeners will receive a wallet-sized booklet called Seed Watch with each order. This seed buyer’s guide has seed-saving instructions to educate and support genetically distinct, sustainable, small scale, bioregional farming.

Moreover, they have a monthly or once donation system to donate and help the vital programs like Community Seed Grants and Native American Seed Requests. So that they can manage the health of the seeds in the native seed search variety.


I will try to answer a few quests of readers. Below are-

01. Will this seed grow where I live?

There are several parameters dependent on a successful seedling. The numbers of varieties in the seed bank group come from different locations all around the Greater southwest. So growing a seed depends on the weather pattern, microclimate, soil and so on. It’s hard to predict how a variety will adapt to a different location. So I suggest trying with a small packet first. 

02. Does rainfall help to grow the seeds faster?

All plants need water, but too much rain can be harmful to some low desert varieties. So if you live in a very humid place, I suggest getting seeds from a similar place. If the rainfall you get is seasonal, you could try playing with the timing of dessert varieties. 

03. Is pollination necessary to produce seed?

When the male flower part comes in contact with the female part, pollination occurs. Successful pollination results in a fertilized egg within the ovary that develops into a seed. Insects transfer pollen between male and female flowers for the fruit to be produced.

But some seeds have a Self-pollination system, as pollen (male) is transferred to the stigma (female) within the same flower. Some plants have specific mechanisms for ensuring self-pollination, like bean flowers. So, by the moment a bean flower opens, it has already been self-pollinated! 


Raising plants from seed opens a world of opportunities to farmers and gardeners of all job levels. Native seed search organizations make this task easier for us by delivering many types of seeds of vegetables, annual flowers, and perennial plants. 

Let’s make some engagement with this non-profit organization to support their work and preserve the quality seeds for the long term.

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