Seed Diaries Project

Every seed has a story, a place and a history. At Native Seeds/SEARCH, we steward a collection of desert-adapted, culturally significant heirloom seeds originating from the Southwestern United States and Northwest Mexico. These seeds represent over 4,000 years of agricultural history in the region and reflect the diversity of people, cultures, cuisines, and environments of the area. The Seed Diaries Project is a sample of this collection.


Beck's Gardenville Okra 


Bisbee Black Cow Pea

del rio chiltepin

Del Rio Chiltepin

glass gem corn

Glass Gem Corn

silver edged squash

Silver-Edged Squash



tarahumara chia

Tarahumara Chia

santo domingo ceremonial tobacco

Santo Domingo Tobacco

hopi black dye sunflower

Hopi Black Dye Sunflower

sonoran chiltepin

Sonoran Chiltepin

navajo robin's egg

Navajo Robin's Egg Corn

tohono oodham squash

Tohono O'odham Ha:l Squash

tohono o'odham white tepary beans

Tohono O'odham White Teparies

mrs burns lemon basil

Mrs. Burns' Famous Lemon Basil

white sonora wheat

White Sonora Wheat

mayo deer dance rattle

Mayo Deer Dance Rattle Gourd

Devil's Claw

Devil's Claw

sonoran panic grass

Sonoran Panic Grass

tepehuan tomatillo

Tepehuán Tomatillo

hopi red dye amaranth

Hopi Red Dye Amaranth

hopi short staple cotton

Hopi Short Staple Cotton

maricopa sweet corn

Maricopa Sweetcorn


The Seed Diaries Project has been generously funded by the Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historic Preservation. Diary information was compiled by former Conservation Farm Intern Danielle Johnson and Collections Manager Melissa Kruse-Peeples with assistance from former Deputy Director Belle Starr. We are also grateful for the generations of seed keepers who have not only saved and stewarded the agricultural diversity but the stories and of these seeds. learn more