Seed and Plant Sources

As you can see, this is still under construction, but plenty is already in place for you to get going with. Remember, don’t be like me: plan ahead, and don’t overbuy. But rest assured that even if you do overbuy, a lot of the seeds will last well beyond one season. Just be sure to plant all the onions and parsnips the year you buy them.

I lead off with the companies from which I have bought seeds and plants. Eventually I’ll be adding a section for Other Sources, those I haven’t tried. If you know of a good one for your region, please clue me in with a reply on the “Spring Fevers” post (2022-03), and I’ll look into it and add it to the list.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

    • A Missouri-based, family run company that sources seed from its own operations and “a network of growers and other seed companies,” offering exclusively “non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated, and non-patented” seed.
    • They emphasize “rare seeds” but they’re expanding rapidly, so maybe the seeds won’t stay rare for long.
    • “Heirloom” means the seeds have a history, but they’re not necessarily native. That’s especially true for the veggies and fruits, of course.

Fedco Seeds

    • The name is deceptive. Fedco offers plenty of seeds (many but not all of them organic—but never GMOs); it also sells potato slips and onion/garlic starts, tree seedlings (think fruit and nut), various fruit vines/bushes, mushroom spawn, and organic growing supplies.
    • Of note: “your source for cold-hardy selections especially adapted to our demanding Northeast climate.”
    • They publish three black-and-white catalogs, packed with useful information, not just product descriptions: Seeds/Supply/Potatoes, Trees, and Bulbs. Order catalog/s online here.
    • This is a cooperative based in Maine; if you want to support the cooperative, you can buy a membership.

High Mowing Organic Seeds

    • Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.
    • Pick up their print catalog and find yourself immersed in a wonderland of vegetable varieties that may make you conclude the best you can do is close your eyes and use a pin to select one per page. Even that will get you over a hundred choices.
    • The 2022 catalog has several short (and illustrated) pieces about beneficials of all sorts.
    • Some gardening supplies, too.

Hudson Valley Seed Company

    • They don’t say whether they’re totally organic, but most of the seed comes from the core certified-organic farm.
    • Beginning with 2022, HVS decided not to print its seed catalog because of escalating printing costs, so you’ll need to browse/ search their website to find what you want, or find out what you want.  Well worth the effort!
    • The up side of dropping the print catalog may be that they can continue offering their Art Seed Packets, which are so pretty you may not want to open them and ruin the art.
    • They sell seeds for veggies, flowers, and herbs, and plenty more.
    • They also sell lovely posters and books. The company has made a real commitment to supporting artists by purchasing their work, so if you want to support a garden artist, here’s a place to start.

Kitazawa Seed Co.

    • Emphasizes Asian vegetable seeds, hundreds of varieties of them, but you can find a nice assortment of Mexican food plants, along with some more Western mainstream veggies. A staggering range of peppers, too—both hot and sweet. You can set a filter to limit your finds to organic seeds. Absolutely no GMOs.
    • Catalog seems to be online only, beginning in 2022. It includes a few recipes along with all those tantalizing plants’ seeds.
    • Take a look at the Chef’s Specialty Seed Assortments. Sixteen collections are on offer, giving you a chance to sample a related set of (about seven different) veggies and herbs. Examples: Tsukemono Favorite Pickle Garden, Edible Flower Garden.
    • Kitazawa looks like the fastest supplier in the business; nearly all orders get processed within one business day. Sometimes, they caution, it could take as many as three days to get your order out. The rest depends on the post office and the level of shipping you order.

neseed

    • Lots of organics; all non-GMO seeds. Almost all seeds are untreated, whether conventional or not.
    • Sells to both home and commercial growers.
    • If you incline towards spreading your seed use beyond a season, their packets for larger seed quantities are handy: in “moisture resistant” zip-sealing bags.

Organic Heirloom Gardens

Prairie Moon Nursery

  • Sells “wild-type native species,” as seeds, bareroot plants (dormant rooots), and pottted  plants.
  • Their catalog has the most useful and appealing arrangement of plant information I’ve ever seen: clear labeling for sun/shade, water needs, bloom time and other conditions, and for the “host plants” that attract (and feed) particular pollinator species, photos and identification of the butterflies or other insects they host.
  • You can also order collections of plants or plugs with specific qualities: pollinator power packs, wasp power packct, tallgrass prairie garden, etc.
  • One note of caution: “native” may not mean native to your particular region of North America, so if you want to stick to regional natives, do some research first.

Seed Savers Exchange

    • All organic
    • “Since 1975, we have grown, saved, and shared heirloom seeds and led a movement to protect biodiversity and preserve heirloom varieties.”
    • Catalog includes some short informational articles and even a recipe or two!
    • Strictly speaking, and true to its name, SSE is an online resource for swapping plants and seeds, so in addition to ordering from the catalog, you can also request seeds and plants from growers listing with SSE, and target your search to your own region, so you’ll know the plants are more suited to your local conditions.
    • If you get onto the SSE mailing list, you may learn about webinars (free!) that help you learn about some of the people and organizations involved in finding and saving heirloom seeds. SSE is working assiduously with indigenous people to find and preserve seeds of foods native to the Americas, and several recent webinars have focused on that effort.

Wild Seed Project