Finding Organic Seeds

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Organic seeds
Thanksgiving may be over and Christmas just around the corner, but like any avid gardener my mind is focused on spring – spring harvest of early peas and salad greens, spring turning of soil laden with organic matter and left to rest, spring planting of seeds started in the kitchen over a cold winter. Yep – spring is a busy time for we gardeners. But, the work of a garden starts long before our first chance to poke seeds deep into warm compost rich soil. It starts with a plan, a drawn out plotted map of vegetable placements, and segways to the best job of all in my opinion – ordering seeds. I love pouring over websites and catalogs almost as much as I love being down on my hands and knees digging in the dirt.

Seeds companies have come a long way over the last 20 years or so. With the rise in organic farming and home gardening seed companies have stepped up to meet the demand. One major advantage in this increase is that we can use our purchasing power to move agriculture in a more organic direction. Another benefit is that we are supporting companies that use non-toxic, sustainable methods to produce seeds.

Certified organic growers are required to use certified organic seed if it’s available. By choosing organic seeds we help ensure the continued supply of seeds that have not been genetically modified or treated with synthetic chemicals, which benefits not only home gardeners, but also organic farms as well.

Many companies offer a few selections of organic seeds, but their main and sometimes most common seeds may not be organic. Seed ordering can be a frustrating task of flipping between catalogs and websites, ordering from many sources to get what you want.

Fortunately we’ve found a few good resources to help streamline the task; that’s if you don’t get caught up drooling over all the fabulous catalogs and tantalizing descriptions of their offerings.

These seed companies offer a good, varied selection of open- pollinated vegetable and flower seeds, as well as untreated and/or organically grown seeds. All share a commitment to refrain from knowingly selling genetically modified varieties. The companies have also earned very high ratings for customer service, in the database maintained by Garden Watchdog (www.davesgarden.com/gwd). For a database with organic seed sources of specific crops and varieties, check out www.omri.org/seeds. Be sure to check out companies close to home to find regionally adapted varieties. (New laws restrict the shipping of seeds between the United States and Canada, so if your order could be affected, be sure to check with the seed company.)

Happy Gardening!!

1. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
2278 Baker Creek Road
Mansfield, MO 65704
(866) 653-7333
www.rareseeds.com

2. Bountiful Gardens
18001 Shafer Ranch Road
Willits, CA 95490
(707) 459-6410
www.bountifulgardens.org

3. Cook’s Garden
P.O. Box 5030
Warminster, PA 18974
(800) 457-9703
www.cooksgarden.com

4. FEDCO Seeds
P.O. Box 520
Waterville, ME 04903
(207) 873-7333
www.fedcoseeds.com

5. Heirloom Seeds
P.O. Box 245
W. Elizabeth, PA 15085
(412) 384-0852
www.heirloomseeds.com

6. High Mowing Organic Seeds
813 Brook Road
Wolcott, VT 05680
(802) 888-1800
www.highmowingseeds.com

7. Johnny’s Selected Seeds
955 Benton Ave
Winslow, ME 04901
(800) 854-2580
www.johnnyseeds.com

8. Natural Gardening Co
P.O. Box 750776
Petaluma, CA 94975
(707) 766-9303
www.naturalgardening.com

9. Nichols Garden Nursery
1190 Old Salem Road NE
Albany, OR 97321
(800) 422-3985
www.nicholsgardennursery.com

10. Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
P.O. Box 2209
Grass Valley, CA 95945
(888) 784-1722
www.groworganic.com

11. Salt Spring Seeds
Box 444, Ganges
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2W1
(250) 537-5269 (inquiries only)
www.saltspringseeds.com

12. Seeds of Change
P.O. Box 15700
Santa Fe, NM 87592
(888) 762-7333
www.seedsofchange.com

13. Seed Savers Exchange
3076 North Winn Road
Decorah, IA 52101
(563) 382-5990
www.seedsavers.org

14. Seeds for the South
410 Whaley Pond Road
Graniteville, SC 29829
Fax: (803) 232-1119
www.seedsforthesouth.com

15. Seeds Trust
4150 B Black Oak Drive
Hailey, ID 83333
(208) 788-4363
www.seedstrust.com

16. Southern Exposure
Seed Exchange
P.O. Box 460
Mineral, VA 23117
(540) 894-9480
www.southernexposure.com

17. Sow Organic Seed Co
P.O. Box 527
Williams, OR 97544
(888) 709-7333

www.organicseed.com

Creative Commons License photo credit: Silly Eagle Books



One Response to “Finding Organic Seeds”

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