Each year as winter wanes, gardeners are deluged with catalogs full of glossy photos and alluring descriptions of seeds. But now shoppers also like to browse them online. We’ve pulled together our top picks for seed companies and their catalogs and web sites. Here’s why:
Some gardeners may prefer to order from catalogs that feature heirloom varieties. And, organic and environmentally conscious gardeners might look for catalogs featuring sustainably grown seed. The catalogs below are among those, which offer heirlooms and/or organic seed. All have signed the Safe Seed Pledge not to knowingly buy, sell or trade genetically modified seed.
1. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company offers vegetable, flower, herb, grain and cover crop seeds. All their seed is open-pollinated, not hybridized, which means you can save seed that will be true to type. They do not buy any seed from Monsanto, Seminis and other companies that engage in genetic modification. They offer around 1200 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs— claimed to be the largest selection of heirloom varieties in the USA.
Their website highlights exotic varieties with unusual colors and provenances. Customer reviews of vegetable varieties are available on their website. To order visit Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.
2. Uprising Seeds
Uprising Seeds is Washington state’s first 100 percent Certified Organic seed company. On any given year they produce over half of the seeds we sell at their home farm, Uprising Organics, just north of Bellingham, WA. The remainder of our varieties are sourced from a network of family farms in Washington, Oregon, N. CA and Idaho.
All seeds are 100 percent open pollinated and certified organic by the USDA and grown by small farms, according to the company. To see more visit Uprising Seeds.
3. Hudson Valley Seed Library
The Hudson Valley Seed Library, based in New York’s Hudson Valley, offers heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable, flower and herb seed as well as tools, supplies, and garden-themed contemporary art. Many of their seeds are grown on their own small organic farm, where they preserve old varieties and develop new ones by traditional methods of seed selection, or by local farmers. None are sourced from multinational biotech companies.
To order, visit their website, Hudson Valley Seed Library, or request a free catalog by calling 845-204-8769.
4. Sustainable Seed Company
Sustainable Seed Company is a family owned seed business that provides gardeners with over 875 varieties of organic and heirloom seeds. They claim to offer one of the largest varieties available of certified organic heirloom seed.
Located in Utah, the company is always looking for “new” heirloom seeds that they don’t yet carry, and says that their goal is to preserve this part of history, fighting against the continuing encroachment from large producers of hybrid and GMO seeds. Visit the Sustainable Seed Company.
5. High Mowing Organic Seeds
High Mowing Organic Seeds in Vermont offers 100% organic vegetable, herb, flower and cover crop seed as well as potatoes. They stock a special selection of seeds for sprouting. Some of their seeds are raised on their own farm, others by a network of organic growers across the country, and still others from international companies. They offer bulk/wholesale seed as well as retail packets.
Their website’s Vegetable Planting Guide offers garden planning and growing tips. All their seeds are shipped free of charge; there is no minimum order. To order from them visit High Mowing Organic Seeds or request a free catalog by calling 802-472-6174 or writing to High Mowing Organic Seeds, 76 Quarry Rd. Wolcott, VT 05680.
6. Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange is a nonprofit organization made up of a network of growers across the country that are dedicated to preserving rare and heirloom seeds from extinction. Founded in 1975, they offer a wide selection of vegetable, herb and flower seeds as well as seedlings, potatoes, garlic, apple trees, books, tools and calendars on their website, which offers specific planting and care guidance for each plant.
To order from them visit Seed Savers Exchange.
7. Seeds of Change
Seeds of Change offers 100% organic vegetable, herb and flower seed as well as live plants, tools, supplies and books. All of their seeds and plants are grown on their own organic farm or by members of their network of organic family farms. Their website’s Learning Center offers extensive advice on many aspects of organic gardening.
To order from them visit Seeds of Change, call 888-762-7333 or write to Seeds of Change, P.O. Box 4908 Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220.
8. Burpee Organics
Burpee also sells non-organic seeds, but has a very respectable selection of organic seeds for organic gardeners. Burpee has been selling seeds since 1881. They are located in Pennsylvania.
You can see the large selection of organic seeds on the Organics section of their web site.