Israel Seed Conservancy

organic heirloom seed

Order Options :

1. Plain Packets - Plain paper packets 10 NIS or $2.00 plus shipping

2. Gift Packets - with the original art-labels below- $3.00 per packet plus shipping

To order email: or call: US: 207 872 9093 Israel: 054 8045 238 / 02 9962849

 Arugula (Eruca sativa )

 Basil (Ocimum basilicum) Sweet Basil for drying, pesto or sauces


Native America Calico Lima - delicious pole bean with excellent heat and drought tolerance

Native America True Red Cranberry - irridescent maroon pole bean of the Abenaki, rich flavor

 Chards (Beta vulgaris)

Golden ORG

Ruby Red


Speckled Swan Gourd

Striata Zucchini (C. pepo)

Telegraph Cucumber (Cucumis sativa)

Dakota Buttercup Squash (Cucurbita maxima) ORG

 Salad Greens

Mizuna x Tatsoi (B. Rapa) robust, unusul leaf shapes - ORG

Mizuna B. Rapa

Sweet Mustard (B. Juncea) tender with ornate filly leaves - ORG

Red Russian Kale (B. Napus)

Toraziroh (B. Oleracea alboglabra) delicious, mild, smooth dark green leaves

Pieracicaba Broccoli (B. Oleracea) tender, sweet multi-heads, calabrese-type

 Heirloom Tomatoes (Lycopersicom esculentum)

Prudens Purple (large with rich flavor) ORG

Orange Banana (paste tomato with symphonic flavor, excellent for drying or tomato sauce) ORG

Peacevine Cherry (bred by Alan Kapular) ORG

 Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

Les Orielles du Diable - ORG

Michelle - ORG

Bronze Arrowhead - ORG

Really Red Deer Tongue - ORG

Merlot - ORG

Jericho ORG

Winter Density (romaine/bibb)

 Mideast Landraces

Yaktin Gourd (Langenaria )

Eggplant (Solanum meongena)

Facus (Cucumis Melo var flexuosus)

Cabbage (B.Oleracea) large flat

Melokhiyya or Jews' Mallow (Corchorus olitorius) a leafy, green vegetable eaten in ancient Israel and Egypt. Dried or frozen melokhiyya greens may be obtained from Middle Eastern stores worldwide.

 Ethiopian Teff

used for 'injera' fermented flatbread, is a nutrient-rich, easy-to-grow grain. It has a sweet flavor and versatility for porridge, added to baked goods, or "teff polenta."  Teff grows in red, brown and white.  Teff is high in easily absorbed calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, aluminum, barium, thiamin and protein, with complete amino acids - an undiscovered, nutritious health food. Sow early in spring. Adaptable to drought and wet soils. For more info:


 Ethiopian Sorghum

Heat upsorghum seed to make a light delicious popcorn. Sorghum flour makes bread, crackers, cake, cookies, porridge, and fermented beverages. Sorghum is fifth as a global grain staple, and a physiological marvel, thriving where other crops wither in drought.  It grow s in temperate and tropical zones, drought and flooded soil. It mature in as little as 75 days.


Abraham offers tasty popped sorghum in Jerusalem's Machene Yehuda market

See: for larger selection

 Why a Landrace Seed Company?


Our goal is to renew the art and science of seed-saving, to conserve indigenous open-pollinated varieties, and adapt superior open-pollinated heirlooms from other regions to our climate - to build a community seed supply. We coordinate:

1. a mentor-program in ecological seed-saving, to ensure seed quality, selecting from large landrace populations for local adapability (ie: water efficiency)

2. two regional seed exchanges per year, fall and spring,

All of our seed genepools are community-owned, like water. No ISC seed may be multiplied, sold or utilized for proprietary breeding or be patented. ISC mentors have solid technical knowledge of seed production and are curators for specific varieties. Participants in our trainings receive seed for free that agree to 'steward' the variety and return a portion back to ISC. Commercial growers may make individual arrangements with ISC to order bulk amounts.

Landrace populations carry genetic diversity and variable genepools - that produce the greatest and steady yields in organic farming systems. Modern hybrid varieties, bred in high agrochemical and water input conventional farms, are not well-adapted to Mideast low input organic farming systems. A 'landrace' refers to a population of plants or animals that evolved over generations of natural and human selection to be well adapted to a local environment. These varieties carry genetic survival mechanisms for adapting to their environment. Landrace cultivars were domesticated by indigenous farmers in their centers of origin. In contrast, modern cultivars are not screened by natural pressures in their regions of origin, but are dependent on high water and synthetic fertilzer regimes.

Knowledge of crop plant origins is vitally important to preserve landraces, habitats, and for ecological crop improvement. Ancient agriculture arose independently in different regions of the world. From a nomadic life of hunting and gathering wild foods, many people gradually settled to tend crops, keep animals and evolved farming communities. In the 1920s, the legendary Russian plant explorer Nikolai Vavilov identified global centers of crop diversity, that include Mesoamerica, the Mediterranean Basin Fertile Crescent, the Near East, highland Ethiopia and China, where traditional farmers domesticated thousands of diverse heirloom folk varieties, or 'landraces'. For example, native Andean farmers domesticated potatoes, beans, quinoa and amaranth grains, and many tuber and leaf crops. India alone, had at least 30,000 rice landraces earlier this century until the introduction of industrial monocropping systems.

According to Zohary (1983) the wild ancestors of cultivated crops from the land of the Fertile Crescent include: almonds, artichoke, barley, beets and chards, bitter gourd (watermelon), black mustard, celery, chickpea, date palm, emmer ( mother of wheat) pear, fig, flax, lentil, lettuce, melon, olive, pea, radish, and safflower. Many wild edibles are today being re-discovered, including arugula (rockette), purslane (rigella) wild mallow (chubeisha), nettle (serpad), mustards (hardal) and more.

Heirloom food crops, selected by generations of traditional farmers for flavor, disease-resistance and drought-hardiness, are almost lost today. Seed-saving, the responsbility of farmers since the emergence of agriculture, is now dominated by seed industries that sell hybrid seeds dependent on pesticides and high water use, causing the loss of the drought-adapted, nutritious heirloom varieties most need of conservation.