Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

This is our beloved seed business, which specializes in heirloom and open-pollinated varieties of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. SESE came to Acorn in the fall of 1999 with an established seed inventory and customer base. The mission of SESE is to help preserve and distribute rare and endangered plant species and to teach our customers the value of saving seed and our seed heritage. We were recently listed as one of the top 20 seed companies in the US by Mother Earth News, and last year we “sold out” of our catalogs for the very first time! Running the seed business is a year-round task. From January to April we experience the busy selling season when customers from around the world order seeds for their gardens. In May and June we sell sweet potato slips. From March to October we spend much of our time in the gardens, tending seed and food crops. From August through October we harvest, clean, and test the seeds we grow throughout the season. Come September, it’s time to ship garlic and onion bulbs, as well as ginseng and goldenseal. We print a new catalog in November. By the time the catalogs are mailed out it is time again for the busy selling season. We believe that SESE is a wonderful example of “right livelihood.” Check out our website at

One of the biggest events of the year at Acorn is the Heritage Harvest Festival.  Southern Exposure hosts this event  in partnership with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation annually in September.  It’s a fun, affordable, family-oriented, educational event promoting gardening, sustainability, local food and the preservation of heritage plants.  We’d love to have you attend, so find out more about it at

Southern Exposure is involved in a series of workshops as part of the Saving Our Seeds project. The latest was hosted at Twin Oaks Community and focused on germination, vigor, and pathology seed testing. Tom Stearns from High Mowing (a seed company similar to ours) came down from Vermont to lead the workshop. He was an informative and energetic teacher. We had 40 people attend from four states. After the two-day workshop Tom came to Acorn and spent an evening and a day talking with us about Southern Exposure and High Mowing. Having him here was such a blessing and we began right away to apply the things we learned. If you’re interested in learning more about the Saving Our Seeds project check out