My list of seed companies:
I mentioned in a comment on my post Carrot Trials – Part Deux, that I have certain seed companies that I love and patronize. This list seemed deserving of a post, so here you are. I will update this post as I become familiar with more sources of quality heirloom seeds.
They have a vast network of members who save seeds and offer them through SSE. I’ve talked about how awesome the SSE is in my post 19th Century French Carrots?–Yes, Please!
Among their offerings are certified organic seed potatoes, kohlrabi, 23 organic varieties of lettuce, herb seeds, and flower seeds. Becoming a member ($40) gives you access to over 12,000 varieties of vegetables and plants. I highly recommend SSE and membership.
A local Mendocino County farm pioneering sustainable gardening, Bountiful Gardens also sells heirloom, open-pollinated seeds. I’ve ordered from them several times, and have been very happy with their seeds. One of the best features on their website, in their catalog, and on their seed packets is how many seeds in one packet will sow how many feet with their recommended spacing; they also give expected harvest and waste/compost production information. This is excellent information when you’re planning an edible garden.
I’m using their Dylan Wheat seeds in my Wheat Trial. Check out the post for a detailed description about the variety of wheat that they offer.
Another great resource for heirloom seeds, Baker Creek has a seed bank literally inside a historic bank building in Petaluma, California. I’ve purchased their seeds for several years now and am very happy with their seeds and selections.
If you like a good gardening read, Jere Gettle, the founder of Baker Creek, wrote a wonderful and informative book The Heirloom Life Gardener: The Baker Creek Way of Growing Your Own Food Easily and Naturally.
This is a public access seed bank in La Honda, California that publishes a black-and-white catalog of seeds. I’ve been very happy with their seeds and selection; however, they do not publish a pretty seed catalog full of color glossy photos. What the catalog and website lack in beauty, they make up for in seed varieties–there are many offerings that gardeners would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Also, they do not have a phone, but actively respond to feedback and questions on Dave’s Garden.
A big catalog and site with pretty pictures and lots of symbols to let you know if seeds are organic, heirloom, heat-tolerant, and other important qualities. I enjoy reading their tips and looking at the charts and graphics.
High Mowing Organic Seeds has grown exponentially, and what started as a one-man operation is now a thriving business making available to home gardeners and commercial growers over 600 heirloom, open-pollinated and hybrid varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seed. True to our roots, High Mowing Organic Seeds continues to grow many of the varieties we sell on our 40 acre farm, setting us apart from the majority of other seed companies.
They are also a great resource for cover crops like Rye, Oats, and Clover. It’s important to have good seed sources for green manures, instead of relying on chemical fertilizers to increase the quality of your soil.