Heritage Plant Database

Links to Baltic Seed Savers databases:

Latvian heritage plants
Lithuanian heritage plants
Estonian heritage plants

What is a heritage plant?

It is a crop that over a long period of time (at least 30 years, which is one generation) has been bred or grown in a certain area, farmstead or family garden.

(Officially registered horticultural varieties for which seeds are produced or that are propagated for a short period of time within a farm or family are not included in the category of heritage plants.)

Why collect information on heritage crops?

It is the same as saving national heritage in a museum. But with seeds the inherited valuables remain to yourself, giving also others the chance to explore and cultivate this treasure, as a result we all together become richer with plants suitable for our land.

Such unique plants are or might be endangered particularly if they grow only in one place. Among seed savers, it is generally believed that this plant is safe from extinction if it is grown by AT LEAST 3 people.

What information is stored in this database?

In this application, we ask you to register your family crop if it has been grown/bred for more than 30 years in the family garden, or its cultivation can be traced for at least 30 years in your closest area.

What can you do?

1)    Identify the heritage plant in your family garden or in the surrounding gardens.
2)    Describe the heritage plant and tell other seed savers about it by filling in the application for suggestions of heritage crops.
3)    View heritage crops grown by other seed savers.
4)    Continue to grow your heritage plants, start growing crops from your surroundings, volunteer to grow an endangered heritage plant.
5)    Join the seed saver movement by participating in seed exchange events, seed saver training and other activities.

We call on the public to get involved in preserving heirloom plants and growing their own seeds in order to preserve food security and freedom. Seed savers are called to help their village, community, country by protecting old varieties and saving their valuable gene pool for future generations.

Why is it necessary to fill in the application and how the collected information will be used?

We will store the information you provide so that other seed savers could learn about the endangered heritage plant and could participate in the cultivation and preservation of this plant. If the plant is unique and endangered, using this database we will be able to engage other seed savers to grow and preserve this plant.

How will you benefit?

You will be invited to join the seed saver movement - to participate in seed exchanges where you will be able to meet like-minded people, learn how to obtain seeds, exchange heritage plants. This way you will be able to grow healthy food for yourself and your family, while taking care of the common good - preserving natural diversity.

What are we doing?

Our mission is to identify what has remained in family gardens and farmsteads, to give growers back the confidence that what they have done is VALUABLE and SIGNIFICANT, to inspire people to continue to grow and cherish these inherited plants.

The movement for saving heritage plants facilitates preservation of natural diversity, self-sufficiency on farms, and the availability of plants adapted to local conditions. Furthermore, this is the way how people's selection is done (the selection of the most valuable and suitable plant traits), which is a guarantee for the preservation of plants that are able to adapt to climate change.