Southern Exposure Seed Bundles


The Mercantile offers Southern Exposure Seed Exchange seeds, “Saving the Past for the Future” by offering the highest quality open pollinated heirloom herbs and vegetable seeds. Southern Exposure seeds are especially well-suited to the Southeast and mid-Atlantic as they are grown and harvested with care by their network in this region.

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Each bundle includes 5 seed packets from Southern Seed Exposure Exchange. The 3 bundles categorize the seeds into food, herbs, or flowers.


Homestead Summer:
Five packets including one ea. tomato, green bean, cucumber, squash or pumpkin, leafy green

Kitchen Herbs:
Five packets including one ea. chives, basil, thyme, dill, cilantro

Cottage Flowers:
Five packets including one ea. tithonia, zinnia, evening sun sunflower, short stuff sunflower, borage


Southern Exposure Seed Exchange offers about 800 varieties of vegetableflowerherbgrain and cover crop seeds. We emphasize varieties that perform well in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, although gardeners and farmers over the country grow our seeds. As of 2017, over 60% of the varieties we offer are Certified Organic, and over 60% are grown by small farmers we know and contract with directly. They offer many unusual Southern heirlooms, including peanuts, southern peas, naturally colored cotton, collards, okra, roselle, turnip greens, corns for roasting and meal, and butterbeans. We do not sell chemically treated seeds.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange History

The inspiration for Southern Exposure Seed Exchange can be traced back to the 1970s. Jeff McCormack and his wife, Patty Wallens, were in New England, where Jeff was a graduate student and later a biology professor. On a weekend trip to Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts – a restored early 1800s farm and village – Jeff was intrigued by heirloom poultry breeds and also by the colors of an heirloom bean, Jacob’s Cattle.

SESE got its start in 1982. 1,700 copies of the 1983 catalog went out, and 196 orders came back that first year. The first catalog was small – 65 varieties – but included interesting heirlooms such as Tappy’s Finest tomato, Yellow Potato Onions, and Calico Crowder southern peas.

They started small – the first year’s inventory fit in their hall closet, with bushel baskets of potato onions stacked around the house. They used baby food jars to store small lots of seed, and Jeff found himself buying baby food when they ran low on jars. (He remembers applesauce as the best, and turkey as the worst!)

Jeff and Patty continue to garden in Charlottesville, and Jeff has various projects in the works, like selecting an improved strain of Green Glaze collards and figuring out organic methods for control of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. He maintains a website,, which has news on these and other projects, and extensive seedsaving information and resources.

Additional information

Seed Bundles

Homestead Summer, Kitchen Herbs, Cottage Flowers