Diane Ott Whealy is a co-founder and Vice-President of Seed Savers Exchange. For more than 35 years, she has been a national leader in the heirloom seed movement and a strong advocate for the protection of the earth’s rare genetic food stocks.
Seed Savers Exchange has more than 13,000 members: gardeners, orchardists, chefs, and plant collectors dedicated to the preservation and distribution of heirloom vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs. With thousands of varieties in its collection, Seed Savers is one of the largest non-governmental seed banks in the United States.
In 1986 Diane helped to develop Heritage Farm, Seed Savers’ scenic 890-acre headquarters near Decorah, Iowa, to maintain and display collections of endangered food crops. Diane is an experienced gardener who designs the heirloom display gardens each summer at Heritage Farm. She authored Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver, which tells the story of how the dream of two people became, with the help of like-minded others, the extraordinary organization Seed Savers Exchange is today.