A lot of people ask me where they can get heirloom seeds. I've decided to post a short list of who I buy from and why. Before I do, here's a little quote from Suzannne Ashworth's book, Seed to Seed...this book is a must have for any farmer or home gardener:
"The seed that gardeners hold in their hands at planting time are living links in an unbroken chain reaching back into antiquity. Today's gardeners cannot possibly comprehend the amount of history contained in their seeds, both what has come before and what may potentially come after their brief involvement".
One last word, before you go thinking that heirloom seeds are not important, or before you decide that seed is seed, before you make up your mind not to care where you get your seed from, and before you decide that $3 is way too much to pay for 25 seeds, please remember that hundreds of generations and thousands of years of heritage are contained in a single seed. People have literally starved to death protecting seeds, people have been imprisoned for their work to save seed, and many many varieties and genetic diversity are lost in this age of cheap seed from giant distributors. Today, most of the world's seed in now distributed by only a small handful of giant corporations. Most of the time these big seed company's biggest concern is storage life and a plant's shipability (not to mention making giant profits). Nutrition, flavor, local growing ability, or genetic diversity are typically of little or no concern to large seed companies. Please consider supporting your local smaller seed companies. Here are a few that I look to for my seed needs. I encourage you to save your own seed according to the methods described in Suzanne Ashworth's book as well as purchase from your own local seed companies.
In order of my personal priority:
**Uprising Seeds, located in Bellingham Washington: uprisingorganics.com
Uprising is a small family owned and operated seed company that grows 100% certified organic seeds almost entirely at their own small farm in Bellingham, Washington. What they don't personally grow is grown nearby on small farms in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. They have an emphasis on heirloom varieties and try to keep varieties alive that grow well in the Pacific North West.
**Wild Garden Seeds, Located in Philomath, Oregon: Wildgardenseeds.com
Wild Garden Seeds is another family owned and opperated seed company that grows most of their own 100% orgnaic seeds at their own home farm. They have exceptional lettuce and pepper seeds, as well some hard find heirlooms varieties of other vegetables.
**High Mowing Seed, Locaed in Wolcott, Vermont: highmowingseedseeds.com
High mowing is a larger seed company but I've included it here because it's a wonderful go to source for 100% organic seed with an heirloom influence. With 450 varieties of heirloom seed, I find that they have almost anything I need. Also, a lot of their seed is still grown on their own 40 acre farm, which is quite remarkable in this day of giant seed companies. The company is still family owned and is operated in ways that matche up with our own farming philosophy of building an ecosystem on the farm.
**Heirloom Seeds: heirloomseeds.com
This is a company composed of many farmers and gardeners who simply want to sell and preserve heirloom seeds. They have a lot of seed varieties that I've never seen anywhere else.
**The Sustainable seed company: sustainableseedco.com
I'm fairly new to this company but so far I've really enjoyed the seeds I've gotten form them. They grow all their seeds and don't import seeds form any where. They are also all heirloom.