About Us

Our crew

How we support organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, and seed-saving

Our current organic certificate is available here as a PDF.

Our early history

Quality Promise


Our Non-GMO Policy - Read about the Anti-GMO Lawsuit OSGATA vs. Monsanto - We're joining with other seed growers and farmers to sue Monsanto. Read about the lawsuit and our non-GMO policy.

Why Heirloom Seeds? - Cricket Rakita

Open Pollination

Our Seed Growers
It takes many farms to grow a collection of seeds like what we offer. We’re proud to work with a network of over 50 small farms in various parts of the US who grow seeds for us. Click here for profiles of several of these farms. Despite working with many growers who come to us with little experience saving seed, we find that the seed we buy from them at the end of the season is more reliably true-to-type than the seed we buy wholesale. We’re always happy to talk to farmers who are interested in diversifying their income streams by growing seeds for us.

What we offer
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange offers more than 700 varieties of vegetable, flower, herb, grain and cover crop seeds. We emphasize varieties that perform well in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, although gardeners and farmers from all over the country grow our seeds. We offer many unusual, Southern heirlooms, One of our gardens in spring including peanuts, southern peas, naturally colored cotton, collards, okra, roselle, turnip greens, corns for roasting and meal, and butterbeans. However, we serve gardeners throughout the United States and Canada. We do not sell chemically treated seeds.

Our business structure
We are a worker-run cooperative where every worker has a voice in the decisions of the company and where workers receive equal compensation regardless of the economic value traditionally placed on the jobs done. We strive to provide a flexible and enriching work environment where each person is inspired to take on multiple roles and to think creatively about how we can continue to improve our work. We have a commitment to quality in all aspects of our service to our customers.

Our location
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is located in the rolling hills of central Virginia, between Richmond and Charlottesville, not far from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. Our 72-acre farm has goats, chickens, hayfields, an herb garden, and extensive vegetable gardens for seed production, trialing, and eating. Recently, we try to hold an open house at least once a year, and we hope to have additional public events here in the future. However, we do not have a storefront, and our location is not open to the public on a day-to-day basis.

Our seed storage and testing
We have several climate-controlled areas for seeds, as well as a germination-testing room and other office spaces. While we are still a home-based business, we are building a new, larger office for Southern Exposure, using a wide range of ecological methods. Our seed is germination tested to ensure it meets both federal and Southern Exposure standards (our standards are higher than federal standards for some varieties.) Test results are printed on the packet to help you determine planting density and quantity needed. On rare occasions we find it necessary to package seed below federal standard. In those cases we add more seed to compensate and the packet is labeled "Below Standard: More Seed Added." Please note that germination tests are often conducted under optimum conditions and that field results may vary.