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Resources: Heirloom Seed Companies

January 21st, 2011

For all of you interested in great heirloom non-GMO seed companies, here’s a list I’ve been compiling for a few years. I keep adding as I find more, so let me know if you have any great companies to add. Bookmark or Pin this page as a resource because I do update it often.

Abundant Life Seeds – At Abundant Life Seeds we have been protecting the genetic diversity of rare and endangered food crops since 1975. Our goal is to offer true-to-type open pollinated varieties grown using only certified organic or biodynamic farming methods. We pledge that we will not knowingly buy or sell genetically-engineered seeds or plants. We wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems, and ultimately people and communities

Adaptive Seeds – We grow and steward rare, diverse and resilient seed varieties and distribute these to other ecologically minded farmers, gardeners and seed savers. Most of our seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest and short season northern climates. All of our seed is grown by us and a few local friends who act as our isolation gardens. We strictly sell only public domain, open-pollinated (OP) seed, and some diverse genepool mixes. NONE of our seeds are proprietary hybrids (F1), patented (PVP) or genetically modified (GMO) and all of our seed is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – We only offer open-pollinated seeds: pure, natural and non-GMO! We offer heirloom seeds from 70 countries, including many that we collected ourselves. Started in 1998 by Jere Gettle, as a means to preserve rare seeds. We are located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri

BBB Seeds – Founded in 1985, BBB Seed is a family-owned company located in Boulder, Colorado committed to providing high quality, open-pollinated and non-genetically modified seed to our customers. We offer an extensive variety of wildflower and vegetable seeds for all regions throughout the U.S. including high altitude gardens.

Bountiful Gardens – Bountiful Gardens sells untreated open-pollinated non-GMO seed of heirloom quality for vegetables, herbs, flowers, grains, green manures, compost and carbon crops. We are able to offer many varieties as Certified Organic, Natural, Biointensive or Grow BiointensiveTM sustainable seed. Specialties: Rare and unusual varieties. Medicinal herbs. Super-nutrition varieties.

Botanical Interests – “At Botanical Interests our goal is to inspire AND educate so that you can create beautiful and successful gardens. ” No GMOs – recently, we enthusiastically signed the SAFE SEED PLEDGE: We do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.

Circa Plants – We are Brandon and Alyssa Burns and we have been selling historic seeds and plants since 1999. You can find us throughout the spring, summer, and fall at various garden shows where we love to meet our customers. Our business uses gardens and land that have been in the family since the 1800s.

Comstock, Ferre & Co – They are the oldest continuously operated seed company in the United States, they started back in 1820. Situated in the Historic Old Town of Wethersfield, CT near the city of Hartford . . . Comstock Ferré blends perfectly with the nostalgic past in this oldest of Connecticut’s towns.

Fedco – your source for cold-hardy selections especially adapted to our demanding Northeast climate. Each year we observe hundreds of varieties, selecting only the best for inclusion in our catalogs. Through our product lines and cultural hints, we encourage sustainable growing methods. We offer a large selection of certified organic cultivars and regional heirloom varieties. We buy products from all over the world.

D. Landreth Seeds – Since 1784, the D. Landreth Seed Company has been providing its customers with one of the most extensive selections of fine lawn and garden seeds in the world. Our founders introduced into the United States some of the most beloved flowers and vegetables known today including the Zinnia, the white potato, various tomatoes, and our own Bloomsdale Spinach. We have become the oldest seed house in America because we are passionate in our quest for excellence in quality, service and innovation.

Gourmet Garlic Gardens – We love the country, living simply and doing hard farm and ranch work. Life is good. We grow much of our food in the family garden and dry, can or freeze food for the winter. Gourmets can only dream about food that tastes this good.

Grow Organic (Peaceful Valley Farm Supply) – PV carries only non-GMO seeds, signs the Safe Seed Pledge every year, most of the veg seeds are heirloom, all the flower seeds are open-pollinated. Offering so much more than organic seeds, from fruit trees to canning supplies, Grow Organic has all kinds of supplies for your homestead big or small!

High Mowing Organic Seeds – High Mowing Organic Seeds is an independently-owned, farm-based seed company dedicated to supporting sustainable agriculture and providing farmers and gardeners with the highest quality certified organic seed. 100% Certified Organic, Non-GMO Seeds. Over 450 Heirloom, Open-Pollinated and Hybrid Seeds. Organic Vegetable, Herb, Flower and Cover Crop Seed Varieties.

Hudson Valley Seed Library – Regional Seeds for the Hudson Valley area.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a privately held, employee-owned seed producer and merchant headquartered in Winslow, Maine, USA. The company was established in 1973 by our Founder and Chairman Rob Johnston, Jr. Johnny’s mission is helping families, friends, and communities to feed one another by providing superior seeds, tools, information and service. Our products include vegetable seeds; medicinal and culinary herb seeds; flower seeds; cover crops, farm seed, and pasture mixes; fruit plants and seeds, and high quality, problem-solving tools and supplies. We ship throughout the United States as well as internationally. We carry sizes ranging from small to large to suit the needs of home gardeners and small growers as well as retailers and wholesalers.

John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds – Our goal is to bring you the world’s best seeds and to help you cultivate the most abundant of gardens for your family. Holding your garden and kitchen close to the center of your life can lead only to good things for you, your family and friends. They do sell some Seminis/Monsanto seed varieties, but if you write and ask they’ll send you a list so you an avoid them. They develop lot of varieties in their gardens and are a terrific resource for Northern gardeners and for gardening supplies like heating mats, soil blockers, and tools.

Marianna’s Heirloom Seeds – Extraordinary and Italian heirloom seeds.

Nichol’s Garden Nursery – has served home gardeners for more than 60 years. In a time of corporate culture and takeovers, we remain a family operated business, steeped in a tradition of customer service and fine food gardening. When you order from us you receive the finest quality seeds, plants and products. If you have a gardening question our knowledgeable staff is prepared to assist you. We are an original signer of the Safe Seed Pledge and offer no genetically modified seeds or plants. We at Nichols do not sell or offer treated seed, GMO seeds and this year we have discontinued purchasing from major GMO seed developers. You will notice some varietal changes and in almost every instance we offer a comparable substitute resulting from three years of vegetable trials to fulfill this objective.

Ohio Heirloom Seeds – Ohio Heirloom Seeds is proud to sell only the finest quality vegetable and herb seeds. We pledge to you that none of our seeds have been generically altered in any manner. All varieties are open-pollinated, meaning that you can harvest seeds from your fruit and grow the exact same variety, year after year.

Renee’s Garden – Renee’s Garden seeds are selected from growers we know and trust in the USA, Holland, Italy, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Thailand, Japan, China and New Zealand. All our seeds are carefully trialed and evaluated in our test gardens in different climate zones before being added to our line. We are strong supporters of sustainable farming practices and give our business to a wide range of small organic growers whenever they can provide the grade of seed we want to supply to our customers. We do not sell treated or GMO seeds and have signed the “Safe Seed Pledge” developed by The Council for Responsible Genetics.

Pinetree Garden Seeds – In addition to continuing to offer over 1100 vegetable and flower seed varieties, books, soap making, gardening products and kitchen gadgets, we will still be packing seeds by hand and answering all the phone calls and emails ourselves to provide you with the best possible service

Salt Spring Seeds – All our seeds are untreated, open-pollinated and non-GMO. We grow all our own seeds and sell only our most recent harvest.

Sand Hill Preservation Center – “We are not a large operation and all of the work is done by Linda and me with occasional inputs from outside sources. The family consists of myself (Glenn) and my wife, Linda. Our two grown sons, Nick and Cory are no longer living at home. We are not a wholesale seed company nor are we a large hatchery. We are genetic preservationists that are in this for the genetic diversity of this planet we all call home. We produce all of our own eggs for our hatches, tend all of our own flocks, weed and care for the seed crops and produce around 90% of the seed which we sell. We also work with several close friends to produce some rare and unusual items to help give you a better variety. We purchase a few common varieties of nontreated seed to expand our offerings.”

Seeds of Change – 100% certified organic seed: vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Over 1,200 varieties: many heirloom, native and hard-to-find. Quality and performance in your garden or farm guaranteed!

Seed Savers – Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange members have passed on approximately one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners. We are a non-profit organization of gardeners dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange – Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is a wonderful source for heirloom seeds and other open-pollinated (non-hybrid) seeds seeds with an emphasis on vegetables, flowers, and herbs that grow well in the Mid-Atlantic region. We support seed saving and traditional seed breeding. Seed savers and breeders are to thank for our rich selection and we will do whatever we can to support our customers and associates to carry on this noble tradition.

Sustainable Seed Company – We are a new generation of farmers who understand that if there is to be a bright future for humanity we need to start farming and living sustainably today. We sell over 100 varieties of heirloom seeds for less than a $1 No one out there currently does this. This creates a lot of extra work for us, but we want to make healthy food available to everyone and help stretch their ever shrinking dollar!

Territorial Seed Company – Territorial Seed Company is a privately held company, wholly owned by Tom and Julie Johns. Purchased in 1985 from its founder Steve Solomon, Tom and Julie have grown the business substantially over the past 26 years but have never strayed far from the original course set by Steve.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello – Specializing in heirloom and historical seeds

Terroir Seeds – We are a family owned and operated business focused on providing the highest quality seed, the best personal service, and making a positive impact in the community. We have a network of growers that are passionate about the seeds they grow for us. They are even more demanding about the quality than we are! We partner with growers that understand the importance of genetic purity, identifying and correcting genetic drift and continuing to select for the best possible qualities in the plants that have made them heirlooms to begin with.

Terroir Seeds – We are a family owned independent heirloom seed company offering the finest untreated heirloom vegetable, herb and flower seeds for home gardeners and small growers. We offer heirloom and open pollinated seeds, soil building and seed saving education combined with personal service, great selection and fast shipping.

The Thyme Garden Herb Company – The Thyme Garden Herb Company is an eclectic, earth friendly family business working with nature to provide organically grown herb seeds and herb plants, along with bulk dried herbs, herb teas, herb seasonings and much more. We are driven by our passion to add more to the environment than we take. Our beautiful display gardens offer visitors an opportunity to experience over 700 varieties of useful herb plants from all around the world as well as providing a source for our organically grown herb seeds and herb plants. We not only grow organic herb seeds and herb plants we have been cooking with herbs for nearly 30 years.

Vesey’s Seeds – Organic agriculture is not only good business; it is also the key to biodiversity, healthy soil and the understanding of our garden and farm ecosystems. Veseys is pleased to offer you this selection of certified organic seed – seed which has been produced under strict guidelines which govern the production of certified organic products. Veseys is also certified as a shipper/handler of organic seed.

Uprising Seeds – The majority of our seeds are still grown at our home farm Uprising Organics in Acme, WA and isolation plots throughout the county. The remainder are sourced from our great network of family farms in Washington, Oregon, N. CA and Idaho. Our growers are among the best and most experienced in the Organic Seed trade.

Victory Seed Company – Victory Seed Company is a small, family owned and operated organization that works to preserve plant varieties by locating, growing, documenting and offering heirloom and rare open-pollinated seeds to home gardeners. We grow seeds on our farm and help to support other seed farmers by purchasing from our network of growers.

West Coast Seeds (only in Canada) – specialize in certified organic, non GMO, open pollinated, and heirloom seeds and seed potatoes for organic growing.

Wild Garden Seed – We are an organic seed and vegetable farm in the Pacific Northwest. We produce farm-original varieties of many salad greens, vegetables, herbs and a few flowers.

Wood Prairie Farm – we are a small Certified Organic family farm in the State of Maine that market our products, and those of a number of other Certified Organic farmers that we know and trust, directly to our customers through our print catalog and this webstore. Our modest scale allows us to focus on producing high quality organic goods for you and your family. They have taken the Safe Seed Pledge.

Heirloom Seeds

Resources for Finding Organic Seeds:
ATTRA – search for organic seed sources

Where do you get your garden seeds from? Any great companies not listed here? 

Other Resource lists:
Heirloom Apples and other Perennial Fruits/Nuts
Seed Potato Sources
Alternative Allium Sources

33 Comments to “Resources: Heirloom Seed Companies”
  1. Meighan on January 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    This is a good list I found today via You Grow Girl – http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/ViewPage.aspx?pageId=261

    Not all heirlooms, but all non-GMO!

    Reply to Meighan's comment

  2. Grant on January 21, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Which of these companies is your favorite?

    Reply to Grant's comment

    • Susy on January 21, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      I don’t know if I have a favorite, I have ordered a lot from Baker Creek and they’re seeds always do very well for me. I also love Renee’s Garden and Southern Exposure. I don’t have much experience with the other companies so I can’t say for sure what they’re seeds are like, but I know people that recommend most of them.

      I also order some things from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, they are more of a place for hybrid & specialized items. I order a lot of tools & equipment from them.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile and Susy Morris, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: #Resources: Heirloom Seed Companies http://goo.gl/fb/K23fu #seedsowing […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention Heirloom Seed Companies | Chiot’s Run — Topsy.com's comment

  4. Janet Anderson on January 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Hello and thanks for the marvelous list! This has been on my mind for a couple of weeks even though I am currently landless. Can I add a couple of Canadian sites…

    Veseys Seeds is on Prince Edward Island and they offer heirloom (they have some great vintage bean seeds) and organic as well as their regular stock. They have excellent customer service too. The link to their GMO & Organic policy is below.

    http://www.veseys.com/ca/en/learn/reference/gmopolicy

    Salt Spring Seed Company is on Salt Spring Island, just off Victoria, BC. They are actively trying to maintain our genetic diversity and participate in the Canadian Seed Sanctuary. Also very nice and helpful people.

    http://www.saltspringseeds.com/catalog/seedsanctuary.htm

    Thanks again, I will save your list!

    Janet in Calgary, Alberta

    Reply to Janet Anderson's comment

  5. tj on January 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    …Thank you so much for the list! This is very helpful and I know I will refer back to this often – thank you!

    …Have a nice weekend!

    …Blessings… :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  6. MAYBELLINE on January 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Terrior/Underwood Gardens.

    http://www.underwoodgardens.com
    MAYBELLINE´s last post ..Moondance

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  7. Wendy M. on January 22, 2011 at 12:03 am

    From their website “At Botanical Interests our goal is to inspire AND educate so that you can create beautiful and successful gardens. ”
    “No GMOs – recently, we enthusiastically signed the SAFE SEED PLEDGE: We do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants “

    Reply to Wendy M.'s comment

  8. Dan on January 22, 2011 at 1:18 am

    Heritage Harvest Seeds is a good one, lots of selection.
    Dan´s last post ..When it is cold outside

    Reply to Dan's comment

  9. leanne on January 22, 2011 at 3:05 am

    definitely agree with saltspring seeds! such an amazing company! i ordered some seeds from them two years ago and they were gorgeous, and shipping was super fast. i’m putting another order together right now. i’m also eyeing up an order from west coast seeds out of delta, bc. i believe they have a good selection of organic too.

    Reply to leanne's comment

  10. Jennifer Fisk on January 22, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Johnny’s offers come organic and heirloom seeds.They don’t have the widest selection that other seed houses might offer but I think they are a good choice for the northeast, especially coastal Maine, because they are raised in the northeast. We have anything but perfect growing conditions so I’m thinking these seeds have already surmounted adversity.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  11. Jessica on January 22, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Followed you from “You Grow Girl” – thanks for the great list and info.

    Reply to Jessica's comment

  12. goatpod2 on January 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    We just got seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds!

    Amy

    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  13. Kimberly on January 23, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Even if I don’t need anything in particular from them, I always try to order *something* from Wild Garden Seeds, since the owner has taken on Goliath aka Monsanto over GMO Beets in court. Irish Eyes is another non-GMO company that grows much of their own seed and organics are clearly marked. They have a great potato selection.

    Reply to Kimberly's comment

  14. Christy on January 24, 2011 at 4:08 am

    wow you have a lot of choice in the US! Here in NZ we only have one main seed company, and a few small specialist ones, am envious of your selection. have been trying to save more of my own though. Have been enjoying reading your blog, your pictures are lovely.

    Reply to Christy's comment

  15. Anne Kleekamp on January 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Another seed company for your list is the Virtual Farm Seed Co., they sell only non-hybrid heirloom seeds.

    Reply to Anne Kleekamp's comment

  16. Josh on January 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

    One I like is Jung Seed co, http://www.jungseed.com They are non-GMO and they have a guarantee on their seeds.

    Reply to Josh's comment

    • Susy on January 26, 2011 at 11:36 am

      Actually I have read this about Jung Seeds:

      Jung Seeds has been in business since 1907. They provide seeds, plants, shrubs, fruit trees and other products that are used by home gardeners and market gardeners nationwide. At one time they produced their own seeds, but today they purchase most of them from Monsanto Company. This has been a subject of controversy among some gardeners who do not like the genetically modified seeds that are produced by Monsanto (also Seminis owned by Monsanto).

      Since Monsanto controls up to 90 percent of the United States nursery market, it can be difficult to find alternatives. However, most customers of Jung Seeds are very satisfied with the products that they have ordered. If hybrid or genetically modified seeds are a concern to you, consider ordering seeds from a company that offers heirloom varieties, such as Full Circle Seeds.

      Here are a few sources:
      http://changingamerican.blogspot.com/2009/04/where-to-go-avoid-gmo-seeds.html
      http://garden.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Jung_Seeds

      Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Freedom Journey on February 5, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I’m a bit slow in commenting but am so excited about checking these out! We love heirloom seeds but haven’t found a favorite company yet.
    Freedom Journey´s last post ..The Propane Bill is PaidAnd More!

    Reply to Freedom Journey's comment

  18. Andrea Duke on January 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I have that Beekman box with Landreth seeds, but don’t want to open it!! :-)

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

  19. Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen on January 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Also Comstock Ferre in Wethersfield, CT – owned by the lovely folks at Baker Creek. http://comstockferre.com
    Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen´s last post ..Twenty Twelve

    Reply to Kate @ Snowflake Kitchen's comment

    • Susy on January 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      That’s right, I’ve been there and completely forgot – here’s a post about my visit. I’ll add it now.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  20. meg- grow and resist on January 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Uprising Seeds in Washington are great! http://www.uprisingorganics.com/
    Thank you so much for putting up the list!

    Reply to meg- grow and resist's comment

  21. Mike Wade on March 19, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Thank you for listing our company in your list. However, The link that you are using goes to our old cart. Here is our updated link.

    http://www.bbbseed.com/store/heirloom-vegetables

    Take Care

    Mike

    Reply to Mike Wade's comment

  22. whit on November 22, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Hi Susy,

    Found another interesting seed source that i thought i’d link up here. Seattle Seed Co. http://www.seattleseed.com/pages/About-Us.html Looks to be a lot like Uprising or Irish Eyes.

    Thanks for keeping this running tally!
    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Whit
    whit´s last post ..The Foyer :: Putting the "Welcome" into Our Home

    Reply to whit's comment

  23. Salt River Garlic on January 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Great piece! We order from a number of these companies, plus as small farmers we grow and produce GMO-free seed. It’s getting harder and harder to find when it comes to certain crops, like corn. Makes it hard to know what you’re eating unless you grow it yourself or find a local farmer.

    Reply to Salt River Garlic's comment

  24. Sarah on January 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Hi!
    My favorite over the last couple of years has been Annie’s Heirloom Seeds: http://www.anniesheirloomseeds.com/

    Very quick delivery, great seeds!

    I’m Canadian, currently living in SoCal, but we lived in BC for seven years and used Salt Spring Seed Company (link was mentioned above) and West Coast Seeds (love love love them!): http://www.westcoastseeds.com/

    West Coast’s catalog is amazing, so much great info on growing things in the NW, the catalog has a planting guide for each variety of plant that they offer. They ship most things to the States, so check them out!

    Thanks for the great posts!
    Sarah

    Reply to Sarah's comment

  25. erin on March 11, 2013 at 12:27 am

    hey there! I just started listening to your podcast and now check the blog. love love! I am from Saskatchewan, Canada and order my open pollinated organic non GM seeds from Heritage harvest seed in Manitoba. Loads of varieties. good seed. http://www.heritageharvestseed.com/
    erin´s last post ..Babies and Nikki McClure

    Reply to erin's comment

  26. Jeanne on March 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks for posting this great list!
    Do you know how to ship seed to other countries? Where can I find these rules?

    Reply to Jeanne's comment

    • Susy on March 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      I’m not sure about shipping overseas, I’d recommend asking the individual companies.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  27. Sokota Ireland on August 17, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    We are a family owned and operated organic farm, in the business of preserving, protecting, and distributing our heirloom vegetable diversity. All our seeds are grown and harvested by our family on our small farm in NCW washington state. We grow a lot of aquaponic produce for our local markets, and are even beginning to offer some seeds that are tailored toward aquaponics. We all have earth in common, so lets all do what we can to preserve the food crop diversity we have been given!

    Reply to Sokota Ireland's comment

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