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Why Seed Swap App?

Seed saving is an important part of traditional farming. Farmers, both commercial growers and hobbyists, spend time observing their crops and choose to save seeds from plants that cultivate the characteristics for their growing conditions and desired outcomes. This creates diversity in agriculture and helps farmers keep costs down by not having to buy seed every year.

This is a particularly pressing issue right now since it has become legal to patent seeds and now a handful of companies own the majority of available seed. In several parts of the world it's even become illegal for farmers to save and sell their own seeds. In addition, much of the seed available for purchase is sterile (meaning it won't reproduce), hybrid (meaning it can't be saved and resown because the next generation will not be the same as the first), or genetically modified. It's extremely important that we preserve the ability for farmers to save seed and help them find other farmers to swap with.


  • Give "farmers" (professional or hobbyists) access to a database where they can list what seeds they have to trade and access what seeds others have to trade.
  • They should be prompted to add background information about the seed including their growing region, and any specifics on the quality of the crop including recommendations for germination, sowing, care and harvesting.
  • It would also be nice to include tips on how to save seeds from a variety of plants. Give farmers a way to make the trade (mail? in person?)

User Stories:

This can be great commercially and for hobbyist farmers. For example, I garden but I might only save seeds from my pumpkins and beans and then I have to buy new seed each year for the additional crops I want to grow. With this app I would be able to list my pumpkin and bean seeds for trade and I could go to the app and find other people in my area who have different seeds to trade. The app would arrange the swap.

Also, I might want to start saving seeds from other plants in my garden but not know how. I'd like to be able to go to this app, find my plant and view different recommended methods for seed saving.


This should work on desktops and mobile devices for the largest amount of accessibility. Suggesting a web interface.

For legal reasons, seeds shouldn't be listed for sale, only for trade (since seed selling by individuals is illegal in many countries).

Extra Credit:

Ways to connect local farmers for communal gardening or to create a CSA.

Similar Projects and Resources:

The Future of Food (documentary)

Seed Savers

International Seed Saving Institute

Primal Seeds

Garden Web Seed Saving Forum


How to assign a "best climate" to a seed

Zone Map

Qualitative Impact:

This would allow farmers to diversify their crops and regain independence from the large seed manufacturers.

Quantitative Impact:

This could have a global impact.

Problem Definition Category:

Agriculture, Education, Environment


Manchester, NH, U.S.A. and Trento, Italy

RHoK sources of this wiki page