The nonprofit mission of Native Seeds/SEARCH is to conserve and promote arid-adapted crop diversity to nourish a changing world. We work within the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico to strengthen regional food security.
Please join us in this necessary work.


Introducing ADAPTS, the NS/S Public Collection Database

Native Seeds/SEARCH is excited and proud to unveil a new online portal for exploration of the rich crop diversity maintained by the NS/S seed bank. The ADAPTS platform is designed to connect you with varieties in the NS/S collection that are most relevant to your unique needs. Are you a gardener in Phoenix looking for watermelon varieties from locations with similar climates, or a farmer interested in high elevation beans? ADAPTS can help point the way.

ADAPTS was developed with generous grant funding from the Gila River Indian Community and represents part of a larger effort by NS/S to develop resources for climate change resilience in the Greater Southwest.

Farming for Resiliency at the NS/S Conservation Farm

By Lynda Prim, NS/S Conservation Farm Manager. Published on May 18, 2015.

Farming systems all over the world are facing complex problems in terms of food production related to natural resource depletion, climate change, and increasing food demand. In order to deal with the future of producing food on our planet, farmers will need to adapt to continuously changing conditions while taking steps to make their farming systems resilient in a changing climate.

Introduction to Seed Saving

At Native Seeds/SEARCH, we believe that stewarding humanity’s rich crop biodiversity is the shared joy and responsibility of communities everywhere. For every beautiful, nutritious heirloom variety that remains with us today we can thank the people who treasured it and carried on the time-honored ritual of saving seeds. Join us in learning the art and science of seeds, and be empowered to help shift humanity toward more sustainable and nourishing food systems. Introductory courses are offered at our Conservation Center twice a year, in April and September.

Climate Smart Farming

Small Farms and Traditional Indigenous Agriculture

By Lynda Prim, NS/S Conservation Farm Manager. Published on May 1, 2015.

In my work with small scale farmers and traditional indigenous farmers, I have found it valuable to think about “climate smart” agriculture in the framework of resiliency. In agriculture, I think of resiliency has having 3 cornerstones: flexibility, adaptability, and biodiversity. It is often difficult to gauge or measure the degree to which resiliency has been achieved by specific standards with smallholder and traditional indigenous farms because of the variations in cultural and social values that play a significant role in the decision making and circumstances of the farmers and communities.

A Sweet Sign of Summer: Rare Watermelons Are Back

By Sheryl Joy, NS/S Seed Distribution Coordinator. Published on April 22, 2015.

From the rich recesses of the NS/S seed vault, we are happy to bring you four watermelon varieties that have not previously been publicly available. If your garden is a good size for summer’s favorite sprawling vine, check out these varieties!

Reviving Jack Beans

By Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Conservation Program Manager. Published on March, 20, 2015.

Imagine if you could take a time machine and visit an ancient Hohokam agricultural field 1,000 years ago. The crops in that field would contain corn, green-striped cushaw squash, and tepary beans – varieties familiar to contemporary Pima and Tohono O’odham farmers. But you might also find an unusual, yet majestic, bean known today as jack beans (Canavalia ensiformis).

All About Chiles

By Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Conservation Program Manager. Published on February, 20, 2015.

Whether it is red or green in New Mexico, spicy jalapenos of Tex-mex recipes, or fiery chiltepines of the borderlands, chiles are synonymous with Southwestern cuisine and central to our culinary identity. Chiles are also a large part of the agricultural economy of our region. The hot summer climate and sandy soils of southern New Mexico and Arizona come together to create a million dollar chile industry. However, you may be surprised to learn that chiles are a relatively recent part of the 4,000 year old Southwestern agricultural history and were not commonly grown or eaten until the last several hundred years.