Seed Supporter Programs


Our seed trial, production and preservation team maintain our four-acre seed farm in Dromana, Victoria. It is an intensive and technical operation that requires specialist skill and knowledge to ensure varieties are maintained with optimal diversity whilst maintaining stability and are ‘true-to-type’, and each year we welcome the generous donations of heirloom seeds from gardeners across the country, adding to our seed vault.

Each accession that we add to our seed bank goes through a process of growing, assessment and recording to establish that the variety is unique and stable and that it is as described by the donor. This process involves all the obvious elements of cultivation, including germination, transplanting, crop management, harvesting and tasting.

Then there are the ‘back room’ aspects of seed saving, including digital record keeping, dry-conditioned storage and the specialist equipment required, including seed germination incubators and seed cleaning tools. We have calculated that it costs an average of $1,000 to keep a variety safe.


Support Options

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Make a donation to provide a helping hand

Learn more

Become a Seed Supporter to preserve your chosen variety

Learn more

Provide a helping hand on the farm

Whilst we would love for our members to be able to pitch in on our farm, unfortunately that is not always feasible. Instead, you can also make a general donation that will be used to help cover the costs of running our seed saving programs.
Through our partnership with The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, your donation is tax-deductible.


 Provides the netting and seed harvesting equipment to grow a seed preservation crop.



  Provides all the water and irrigation components to grow a seed preservation crop.



   Provides all the compost and field materials to grow a seed preservation crop.


Become a Seed Supporter

Help Diggers preserve heirloom seeds for gardeners of the future. As a Seed Supporter you'll receive:

  • A certificate of your support
  • A tax deductable receipt
  • Updates on grow-outs and seed collection
  • Opportunities to join seed harvesting days
  • Free seed samples of your chosen variety
  • Invitation to Diggers Foundation donor events
  • Recognition on the Diggers website of your supported variety

Select a seed

There are 18 unique opportunities available, which have been chosen as they are exclusive to Diggers and require support to help fund the ongoing cost of preservation. 

To support a seed, simply browse the available varieties below and email our with your chosen variety. We will be in touch with you to confirm your support, answer any questions you may have and provide details on how to receive your tax-deductible donation. 

Tomato 'Black Plum' (Organic)

Grown in our Heronswood trials in 1998 and preserved in our Seed Vault, this unique truss tomato made it onto the production list because of its flavour, form and yield, and proudly became available to members in spring 2022.
Support for $1,000

Email us

Tomato Leicester Jones

Lindy Campbell, from Island Herbs in Snug Tasmania, generously shared the seed of this variety with us, as she was closing her business and wanted to ensure the perpetuity of this variety for all Australian gardeners (especially those in Tassie).
Support for $1,000

Email us

Tomato 'Mini Amish' (Organic)

Donated to us by Judy Cameron and trialled by The Diggers Club at the inaugural tomato taste test back in 1993, this Australian heirloom, bite-sized version of Tomato 'Amish Paste' received great acclaim then and has remained on our list ever since.

Support for $1,000

Email us

Tomato Nonna's Italian Passata

Donated to The Diggers Club's Seed Preservation Program by Peter Alchin, the original seed was shared with him by a co-worker in Sydney from seed saved by his Nonna and brought to Australia when she immigrated. Peter and his wife grew this same variety for over 10 years, growing whopping fruits up to 1.4kg.
Support for $1,000

Email us


How does it work?

When you become a Seed Supporter, you will be funding the cost of labour and equipment needed for the seed preservation cycle. 

Heirloom seed preservation is an involved process starting with cultivation, germination tests, transplanting, crop management, harvesting and taste tests, digital record keeping, dry-conditioned storage, incubators and seed cleaning, and then back through the cycle starting with cultivation once more.

By becoming a Seed Supporter, you are helping to secure the future of your chosen variety, and ensure that the seed preservation cycle can continue.

Contact us

Generously supported and preserved

Tomato 'Valentine'

Discovered through our trials as a variation of 'Cupid' which was then trialed for several years and stabilised as its own unique open-pollinated variety. Born and bred at The Diggers Club in Dromana.

Supported by Michael
to 2026.

Pea 'Franks'
(c. 1853)

An 1853 Australian heirloom made available to Diggers members via May Barnes, who generously shared her family’s heirloom which we found to be a delectable snap pea while young, maturing to an equally delicious shelling pea.

Supported by Gabrielle
to 2026

Read supporter story

Pumpkin 'Iron Bark'

Brought back into circulation by The Digger Club from a handful of seeds donated by a farmer from central Victoria, and first trailed by us in 1995, the iconic Australian heirloom pumpkin has been grown by us every year since. In true Aussie style, the name ironbark related to the touch skin which was to said to require an axe to cut it open.

Supported by Ian
to 2026

Read supporter story

Tomato 'Nonno's Italian Pear' (Organic)

Brought to Australia from Calabria in 1928 when his family emigrated to Australia, Mike Tedesco shared this variety with the Diggers Club. This unique pear-shaped tomato is suited to slicing, drying or using as a base for delicious Italian passata.

Supported by Jenni
to 2026

Tomato 'Soldaki'

From our seed archive, we uncovered this Polish heirloom which was noted as exceptional in a trial at Heronswood in 2002 but has only recently been released to Diggers Members thanks to the efforts of our seed production program. 

Supported by Julie
to 2026

Read supporter story

Runner Bean 'White Lady'

Originally donated to The Diggers Club's seed saving program by Mrs June Ling from seed grown at Edgells in Tasmania 1975. When runner beans lost favour with gardeners, The Diggers Club put the seed in our seed bank, and Clive and Penny kept some seeds for themselves to grow in their own garden. It is from their personal collection and seed saved in our seed vault that we have been fortunate to re-release this world-renowned heirloom runner bean.

Supported by Frances
to 2026

Read supporter story

Pumpkin 'Australian Butter' (Organic)

A unique Aussie heirloom pumpkin that combines the qualities of large Aussie pumpkins with the flavour of butternuts. The Diggers Club worked with Seed Savers Exchange in the US to share this Aussie variety with the world and preserv it for generations of gardeners to come. 

Supported by Rachel
to 2026

Read supporter story

Broad Bean 'Crimson Flowered' (Organic)

A precious heirloom recovered by The Diggers Club from pure seeds sourced from Norfolk Island, where it was originally planted by convicts in 1778. A beautiful, edible broad bean, rich in history and preserved for future generations through our seed preservation program.

Supported by Robert
to 2026 .

Tomato 'Uncle Tony's La Stupenda'

Donated to The Diggers Club by renown Australian photographer Bill Henson, who not only generously shared the seed of his Uncle Tony's enormous beefsteak tomato, but also grew the original seedlings which were trialed in our gardens. 

Supported by Kingsley
to 2026

Bean 'Cherokee Trail Of Tears' (Organic)

Gifted to The Diggers Club by Seed Savers Exchange in the US, through our trial and preservation program we are now able to share this important heirloom bean and piece of American history with Australian gardeners. 

Supported by Seed Savers Exchange

Bean 'Northeaster'

A gardeners gift, this rare heirloom was made available to Diggers members through the generosity of gardeners and the legacy of an elderly Italian gardener who had brought this special heirloom to Australia in the early 1950's.

 Supported by Fran
to 2026

Read supporter story

Broad Bean 'Aprovecho'

A gardeners gift, this rare heirloom was made available to Diggers members through the generosity of gardeners and the legacy of an elderly Italian gardener who had brought this special heirloom to Australia in the early 1950's.

Supported by Elizabeth
to 2026.

Bean 'Tiger's Eye'

From just a handful of seeds preserved in our Seed Vault, The Diggers Club has reintroduce this heirloom bush bean to share its culinary qualities with gardeners, chefs and home gourmets. A beautiful dried bean of exceptional flavour and consistency.

Supported by Bronwyn
to 2026

Bean 'Painted Lady'

An English heirloom from the 17th Century kept in circulation through the seed preservation efforts of a few dedicated gardeners. From our seed vault we have been able to preserve 'Painted Lady' for generations of gardeners to come.

Supported by Ryan & Christina
to 2026.

Cucumber 'Richmond Green Apple'

An Australian Heirloom shared with The Diggers Club by Barry West, and now available to gardeners around the world through the efforts of the Diggers seed preservation and production team, this is the encouraging story of sharing our seed legacy with gardeners worldwide to produce an iconic Aussie Heirloom.

Supported by Lauren
to 2026

Pumpkin 'Bohemian'

A highly variable open-pollinated American heirloom pumpkin shared with The Diggers Club by Seed Savers in the 1990's for our pumpkin grow out. Working together to help stabilise this unique pumpkins variability, we both decided its beauty is in its variability.

Supported by Amy
to 2026

Read supporter story


Why do we need to save heirloom seeds?

To save seeds is to preserve the very essence of culture.

Heirloom crops wouldn’t exist if not for the gardeners and farmers who meticulously grew and saved seeds and passed them down from generation to generation.

  At Diggers, we have helped preserve and revitalise many varieties of heirlooms over the years, bringing many heirlooms from other parts of the world to Australia to ensure their continued success, including popular varieties available today such as Tuscan Black kale, ‘Moon & Stars’ watermelon and Australia's favourite tomato - 'Tommy Toe' tomato.

Diggers has also been pivotal in preserving important Australian family heirloom varieties too, including ‘Uncle Tony’s La Stupenda’ tomato, 'Nonno's Italian Pear' tomato and ‘Franks’ pea, holding them all in our seed bank and passing them on to future generations and heirloom gardeners around the world. This unbroken chain of observation, selection and cultivation is under constant threat with the increasing power and influence of agricultural and chemical companies who operate the world seed trade.

Frighteningly, just four companies control over 60% of global proprietary seed sales and these mega-businesses are not interested in preserving cultural and biological diversity. Here in Australia, there is no government or institutional body that supports the preservation of heirloom vegetable and flower seeds.  It is now and always has been, the community of gardeners and small-scale farmers who are the stewards of this valuable and precarious diversity. This has created a situation where it is left to individuals and not-for-profit organisations like Diggers to undertake this vital task, but it comes at a cost.

Tomato 'Uncle Tony's La Stupenda'

Pea 'Franks'

Watermelon 'Moon And Stars Red' (Organic)