Watermelon seeds prepared for shipping

During its busiest stint, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange shipped out up to 900 orders a day. The company saw a major increase in demand after being featured in The New York Times.

At Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, business and community exist in symbiosis. For more than two decades, the organic seed company has made strides to maintain the integrity of hundreds of seed varieties while also safeguarding certain niche species to keep them in existence.

It’s owned and operated by the Acorn Community Farm, a secular, egalitarian commune established in 1993, which is now solely supported by its rapidly growing sustainable enterprise.

Ira Wallace in the seed storing and curing areas

Ira Wallace, 74, has played a key role in Southern Exposure Seed Exchange since the Acorn Community purchased the business in 1999. Seed storing and curing areas are dehumidified to prolong the life of a seed.

Seed storage

Seeds are frozen, refrigerated or air-conditioned for long-term storage.


Isaac Parrish became the editor at the The Central Virginian in April 2023. At The CV, he focuses primarily on the Board of Supervisors, but he also enjoys writing articles related to the environment and agriculture.

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