Seeds For The Season

IMG_0027We’ve just finished with our seed orders for the upcoming season. Folks often ask us which seed companies we buy seed from. As many of you know, the nursery end of our plant production is done on site. We propagate most of the woodland, native, and shade perennials ourselves. As you may remember from past posts,( 2nd seed post) seed collection is one form of propagation we use here. The seeds that we order from the companies I’ll be mentioning, are for the several large vegetable gardens we grow. We garden organically and feel very committed to purchasing seeds from companies that offer organic seed, open pollinated varieties, as well as a selection of heirloom varieties. Most importantly we want to support seed companies that have taken the Safe Seed Pledge. As signers, companies pledge that they do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. As the seed industry is becoming dominated by large multinational corporations, sourcing safe seed from ethical and ecologically minded companies can be challenging. But good seed companies still exist, they are out there, and supporting them is important ( crucial, really) to the safety and health of all us, the environment, and the future of our food. Without listing the names of the ” multi -national giants” who are permeating the seed industry, we encourage gardeners and growers to do some research on the negative effects caused by GMO’s and treated seed. For example, neonicotinoids, an insecticide used by many of the large seed companies to coat their seeds, is absorbed into all parts of the plant, including the flowers. Residues build up in both pollen and nectar, and are extremely toxic to our bee population ( as well as all other pollinators), causing both paralysis and death. Who you buy your seed from is an important matter.IMG_0028
With all that said, here are the seed catalogs we primarily order from : Fedco Seed Company,, P.O, Box 520 Waterville, Maine, 04903 , ( 207) 426-0090
Johnny’s Selected Seeds,, 955 Benton Ave. Winslow, Maine 04901 , (877) 564-6697
Seeds of Change,, P.O. Box 152 Spicer, MN. 56288 , (888) 762-7333
High Mowing Seeds,, 76 Quarry Rd. Wolcott, Vermont 05680, (802) 472-6174
Territorial Seed Company,, P.O.Box 158 Cottage Grove, OR 97424, (800) 626-0866
Turtle Tree Seed,, 10 White Birch Rd. Copake,NY 12516, (518)329-3037
We buy the bulk of our seed order from Fedco and Johnny’s. Our favorite tomato variety, Martha Washington, is offered at Johnny’s. In addition to Fedco’s huge vegetable, tree, and cover crop offerings, I always buy my dye garden seeds from them and most everything else. They’re local and both great companies. We like Seeds of Change, Territorial, and High Mowing, and often find a few specific varieties that one or the other does not offer. My seed order with Seeds Of Change this year: Corno Di Toro pepper, Hutterite bean, Emerald Oak Lettuce, Tokyo Market Turnip, and Leonardo Radicchio. A small order, but very specific. I love to support Turtle Tree Seed company from upstate New York. They are a small bio-dynamic, open pollinated seed company that is doing great work to ensure the future of our seeds. Two things I will order from them ( for sure) is Phacellia, an annual that is native to California and Arizona, a great pollinator and used as a soil builder in Europe. The other is Silphium perfoliatum, also called Cup Plant, a native perennial from the mid west to the east coast, north into Canada. It grows 4-8 feet tall, with sprays of yellow flowers from July through September. It is also important to birds, butterflies, and bees.
There is so much conversation to be had regarding the future of our seed security. It is really worth reading up on and researching. It is truly worth the effort in knowing where your seed and plants come from. It can and does impact so much. Well, happy gardening…….not quite yet, we have to get through a few more snowstorms first! IMG_0033

13 comments on “Seeds For The Season

  1. Hi Denise and Rick. By the way, Denise what is your last name? And would you mind submitting a short prof. Bio? Thanks. We are excited to host this workshop! Best regards, Irene

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Every year we try a few new tomatoes, we are aware of the possibility of blight from year to year. We have gotten it late in the season, but fortunately long after we’ve had plenty of fruit. Martha Washington is a nice fairly large tomato good taste and producer, and always seems to escape blight ( or at least one of the last to be infected). I grow it every year now. Maybe this year, after the harvest, I’ll post all the varieties and their outcome. Yep……snow again, yahoo!

    • Very helpful, if you are choosing to steer clear of treated or GMO seed, which we do, it is great to have confidence in the seed source. To the best of our ability. We are very lucky to have FEDCO and Johnny’s within 30 miles of us.

  2. It’s refreshing tor read a discussion like this, with the information about GMOs and insecticides. Also refreshing to know that saving the bees is a high priority for you!

    • Hello and Thank you. It truly is so amazing how quickly our precious seeds are becoming tainted. We really believe the future of our food depends on our commitment to preserving our seeds. Seeds are the source of life. Also, really enjoying your blog. I could easily become a hoarder of linens, the ones on your blog….eye candy. Thanks for reading and your interest.

  3. Are you certain that you want to grow Siphilum perfoliatum? I have grown this plant, makes a great hedge, birds love the rain that collects in the “cups” where the leaves join the stems. However, I found it to be too aggressive in New England’s soil. I understand it is very happy in the mid-west.

    • Thanks Sylvia,
      yes, I’ll grow it but not for the nursery, in a place that I can keep an eye on it and some control. It’s always good to be aware of those plants that like to ” take over”. Hope you are well, any snow there? see you in the spring.

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