It’s getting late in the season to order seeds, but since there’s renewed interest in gardening this year due to the Coronavirus, I thought I’d share my recommendations for seed companies. I’m sure there are great ones I don’t know about; these are just ones that I’m familiar with from my own organic farming and gardening. Not everything that all these companies offer is open-pollinated or organic, but there’s a place for hybrids, and organic can start with you.
Sweet Home, Oregon. Motto: “Bringing Biodiversity Back.” An amazing selection of open-pollinated varieties from around the world. I met the founders back in 2010, when I was a farmer myself. They’re young people, trying to make a positive difference in the world. Especially good for PNW growers.
Philomath, Oregon. Motto: “Ecological Crop Improvement For and By Farmers.” They feature many “farm originals” that they develop themselves. Famed vegetable breeder Frank Morton is part of this operation. These people are best for their mixes, from which you can select for your own varieties. Especially good for PNW growers.
Williams, Oregon. They claim “best-ever organic medicinal herb seeds, highest quality and reasonable prices!” and I won’t argue with that. This is where to for medicinal herb seeds and plants. Founder Richo Cech has traveled around the world to build his amazing collection, and is well-versed in the science of herbal medicine. One of the highlights of my farming years was visiting their farm and getting a tour from Richo himself.
Oregon. This company was launched by Randy & Edith Woodley when Nikki Hill & I shut down our own seed company, Daggawalla Seeds & Herbs. We passed our large backstock to them, and they’ve been building on it since. By supporting Eloheh Seeds, you are also supporting the Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice.
Mineral, Virginia. Specializes in open-pollinated and heirloom varieties and works with small local farmers to produce their stock. These are real down home folks. Especially good for growers in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
An Italian seed company with a US distributor based in Lawrence, Kansas. Italian plant breeders are famous for producing varieties with great flavor and aesthetics, and Franchi offers things you won’t find anywhere else. Few of their selections are organic, but their seed packets are generously packed and nicely priced.
Maine. A favorite supplier of market-growers. Large selection of veggies, herbs & flowers, and a variety of options for quantity, from packet to pound. As a bonus, they’re 100% employee-owned.
Baker Creek has gotten big in the last few years; too big, and too fast, in my opinion. I ordered and planted out a lot of varieties from Baker Creek when I was a farmer, and their seeds were bunk more often than any other seed company, by far. Plus, they also began selling a traditional Native American variety of winter squash that they were specifically asked not to, as its keepers didn’t want it monetized. Not cool, guys.