"Heirloom seeds are food awaiting to happen." Dr. William Woys Weaver

Roughwood began out of interest in the diverse world of plants, of family gardening, and the culture and human connection in each seed. We know food, good food, meaningful food, is for everyone. Knowledge about food should be as well, and that leads to our collective empowerment. As Roughwood has grown it has strengthened that commitment to explore our cultural heritage expressed through the garden, and expanded the area of interest to wherever the bonds have grown weak. Roughwood is ready to grow again and sow the values forever present in our work. It is our responsibility to care for these seeds and the stories that accompany them, to bring them to present use. It is our goal to support, cultivate, and publish as much work as possible in our system that remembers food is something to be eaten, not just written about. Through this action we can create a more interesting, diverse, meaningful, and delicious world.



Roughwood Home and Gardens


The Roughwood Seed Collection, which now comprises circa 5,000 varieties of heirloom food plants, was begun informally in 1932 by William Woy Weaver's grandfather H. Ralph Weaver (1896-1956). During the Great Depression, when food was scarce for many households, he set out to feed his family from a one-acre plot in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Since he had been working on the Weaver family genealogy, H. Ralph used his Lancaster County family connections to acquire heirloom seeds that had been grown in the Dutch Country for many generations. His passion for rare old-time varieties snowballed so that by the 1940s he managed to create one of the finest kitchen gardens in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Among the many frequent visitors to his garden was West Chester folk artist Horace Pippin from whom he acquired many rare peppers.

All of our seeds are non-GMO and open sourced. We do not support in any matter GMO companies/individuals, etc. No one working for Roughwood-both Roughwood Table and Roughwood Seed Collection- has ever worked for Monsanto or any other company/entity. We are certain to do background checks to ensure we have the best and most wonderful people on board. Any falsehoods, profanity, mis-information, bullying or harassment will not be tolerated by Roughwood. Please do not contact us with such matters. 

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