Whenever possible, we select organic seeds for the Edible Landscape Demonstration Gardens. We NEVER use Genetically Modified Seeds. According to the Monsanto website, many summer squash seeds have been genetically modified for virus resistance since the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Organic seeds, by definition, are non-GMO.
We have purchased seeds from several websites around the globe. Here is a list of the seed companies we have used. We are always looking for new resources and appreciate any you may be able to share with us.
This site promotes open-pollinated and organic seeds. This is the source for the four dwarf tomato varieties that we are testing in our Tomato Trials.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (Mansfield, Missouri) Website www.rareseeds.com
Love this site for its wonderful photos and outstanding variety of veggies, including varieties not available on other sites. This is where we bought the seeds for Orange Okra and Pink Okra planted in Area 2 of the ELDG. Careful, this site can be addictive.
Eden Brothers. Website www.EdenBrothers.com. Promotes all non-GMO seeds, may of which are Heirloom open-pollinated. Huge selection including 75 tomato varieties and 25 watermelon varieties, and over 100 cool season vegetables. Biggest challenge here is limiting one’s choices to remain within the household budget. This is where I bought the German chamomile and Roman chamomile seeds. The Corn chamomile seeds were purchased from Pennard Plants because I could not find them in the USA.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds (Winslow, Maine). Website www.Johnnyseeds.com.
This site has a wide variety of lettuces and some new “kale” varieties that we will be planting soon for cool weather gardens. This site also has row cover materials and lots of farm-related stuff. This is a great resource for learning in-depth info on a variety of topics, including a collection of videos on breeding tomatoes, trialing microgreens, tool demonstrations and even recipes. Great rainy-day afternoon activity.
This is the best source we have found for Asian greens. The seed volume per package is very generous compared to other sites. Germination rates are outstanding. The variety of greens available in seed form is enormous. Many Asian markets in larger cities have seed packets. Some of my favorites have come from those sources.
New England Seed Company (Neseed) (Hartford, Connecticut). Website www.neseed.com.
This site has 14 different varieties of Basil. This is where I got the purple basil seeds we planted in Area 7. There is also a special Italian Gourmet collection of seeds. This site also has an extensive list of Natives and Wildflowers by special order. They also sell special seed mixes such as “Bee Feed Mix,” “Beneficial Bug Mix,” “Honey Bee Pollinator Mix”, and “Bird and Butterfly Mix.”
Pennard Plants (The Walled Garden, East Pennard, Somerset, BA4 6TP) Website www.pennardplants.com.
Botanical names are always included on each seed package. This is important, especially when purchasing exotic sounding plants. This company is in South West England, and it is the only UK seed company I have found willing to ship outside the UK. They have even shipped live plants, which takes longer because they have to go through Customs. I bought Chinese Celery, which planted in ELDG Area 1 and Chinese Artichokes, which are planted in my home garden. Shipping is inexpensive. The package illustrations are hilarious (always loved that British sense of humor). It’s worth going to the website just to see the package illustrations. What an excellent selection of Heritage, Heirloom and Exotic plants. The credit card company will convert British pounds to US dollars.
Seed Savers Exchange (Decorah, Iowa). Website www.seedsavers.org,
This is a great site for organic and heirloom varieties as well as old-fashioned rare seeds that our great-grandparents planted in their gardens.
Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants (Charlottesville, VA). Website www.monticelloshop.org.
Great source for Heirloom seeds, many of which Thomas Jefferson grew and are still grown at Monticello today. This site also sells ‘Seed Samplers’ which are collections of seeds with a theme as well as a Children’s Garden book. A trip to Thomas Jefferson’s historical gardens is a very satisfying experience. You can also have lunch on the grounds.
For 2016 this site boasts more than 650 varieties of certified organic heirloom tomato seeds. They have tomatoes in all colors – black, purple, green, white, amber, blue, brown, orange, yellow, striped, bicolor – and yes, lots of red! I have purchased several dwarf varieties from this site and plan to test them soon. Very informative site and entertaining. They have a “Tomato Seed Donation Program’ which I have not had time to explore yet. That’s on my list of sites to explore further.