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About The Seeds

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Open Pollinated Varieties

NS/S provides only Open Pollinated (OP) varieties. Seed saved from the parent plant will grow with the same characteristics if care is taken to prevent crossing.

Landraces & Heirlooms

Seeds from the NS/S Seed Bank Collection are landrace or heirloom varieties with a long historical connection to the Greater Southwest. Landraces are farmer-developed varieties of crops that are adapted to local environmental conditions. Heirlooms are similar in that they are grown and shared over generations.

Organic Growing Practices

Most seeds in our Seed Bank Collection are grown out at our Conservation Center in Tucson, AZ or by partner farmers. While we are not USDA certified organic, our current growing practices meet and often exceed the standards for organic certification. Please contact us if you have questions about the specific growing conditions of any seed offered by NS/S. All of our seeds are untreated and allowable for use in certified organic programs.

Non-Collection Seed

We also include OP species and varieties from outside our collection to broaden our offerings. These Non-Collection varieties perform well in the Greater Southwest even though they do not have a deep historical connection to the region.  Those that are certified organically grown are noted as such on their webpage.  All purchases support our conservation mission.

Safe Seeds and GMOs

NS/S is a member of the Safe Seed Initiative. We do not buy, sell or use genetically modified seeds. Our seeds can be considered GMO-free and we take efforts to ensure that they are not cross-pollinated by GMO or hybrid seed stock. For more information contact the Council for Responsible Genetics, sponsor of the Safe Seed Initiative.

No Patents on Seed

We support free access to crop diversity and support the rights of indigenous communities and all farmers to benefit fairly from the crops and associated knowledge they developed. Seeds obtained from NS/S are not to be used for commercial breeding purposes with a patent outcome unless there are written agreements with the originators of the seeds in the NS/S collection.

Our Region

Seeds in the collection come from the Greater Southwest region: stretching from Las Vegas, Nevada in the west to Las Vegas, New Mexico in the east, and from Durango, Colorado in the north to Durango, Mexico in the south. 

The seeds originate in this very diverse region, which includes High Desert (above 3500 feet elevation) and Low Desert (below 3500 feet elevation).