seed companies

Some of my favorite seed catalogs.

For folks wanting to avoid Monsanto (Seminis) products, heirloom seeds from these companies are your best bets. That said, several companies buy certain popular varieties from Seminis/Monsanto, and you may not always be able to tell which is which from the catalog. Here is one list of Monsanto varieties you might run into. Fedco Seeds offers a handy key differentiating the sources of their offerings. That way you can choose varieties grown by local small farmers, or medium-sized farmers or bought from Seminis/Monsanto.

Abundant Life Seed, 360-385-5660. They’re not what they used to be, now owned/run by the folks at Territorial Seeds.

Adaptive Seeds, 25079 Brush Creek Rd, Sweet Home, OR 97386. An up and comer with a great pedigree, I’m psyched to order from them this year and see how they grow.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, 2278 Baker Creek Rd., Mansfield, MO 65704, 417-924-8917.

Botanical Interests, 660 Compton Street, Broomfield, CO 80020. 800-486-2647. Offers a good selection of unusual seed, including some organic seeds.

Bountiful Gardens, 18001 Shafer Ranch Road, Willits, CA 95490-9626, 707-459-6410.

Fedco Seeds, P.O. Box 520, Waterville, ME, 04903, 207-873-7333. Focusing on seeds for northern New England farmers and gardeners, the cooperative Fedco offers a substantial collection of organic and heirloom seeds at what may be the best prices anywhere. The catalog tells consumers where the seed comes from (small growers to multinational seed companies) to help choose.

Filaree Farm offers a huge selection of organic garlic varieties. Okanogan, Wash., 509-422-6940.

Golden Harvest Organics, 404 N. Impala Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80521. 970-224-4679.

Heirloom Gardening (Newsletter), Kristin Howard, 60 Howard Avenue, East Norwalk, CT 06855, 203-354-8756.

Heirloom Seeds, P.O. Box 245, W. Elizabeth, PA 15088. 412-384-0852. Sells very old varieties, some more than a century old!

High Altitude Gardens, P.O. Box 1048, Hailey, ID 83333. 208-788-4363. Specializes in varieties adapted to harsh, mountain climates, including many Russian tomato varieties.

Horizon Herbs, PO Box 69, Williams, OR 97544 USA. 541-846-6704. Organic source of medicinal herbs and plants.

JL Hudson, Seedsman, Star Route 2, Box 337, La Honda, CA 94020. The huge catalog lists flowers, herbs and vegetables by Latin name first, and so is not the most user friendly, but still offers a wide variety of otherwise rare seeds.

Landreth Seed Co., P.O Box 16380, Baltimore, MD 21210-2229. 1-800-654-2407. The oldest seed company in the nation, it started operations in 1784.

Native Seeds/SEARCH, 526 N. 4th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705-8450. 520-622-5561. Company focuses on seeds adapted to the Southwest, with a huge selection of beans, corn, peppers and other traditional Native American crops.

Peace Seeds, 2385 SE Thompson St., Corvallis, Oregon 97333, 541-752-0421.

Peaceful Valley Farm SupplyP.O. Box 2209, 125 Clydesdale Court, Grass Valley, CA 95945, 530-272-4769 or 888-784-1722> I first learned about PVFS from a friend who recommended it as a source for well-priced tools and soil amendments. But the company also sells seeds in bulk or in packets for everything from veggies to green manures. They have plant starts available, too.

Prairie Garden Seeds, Box 118, Cochin, SK, Canada S0M 0L0. 306-386-2737.

Ronninger’s Seed-Potato Co., P.O. Box 307, Ellensburg, WA, 98926. 800-846-6178. Huge selection of seed potatoes.

Sand Hill Preservation Center, 1878 230th St., Calamus, Iowa 52729, 563-246-2299.

Seeds of Change, 3209 Richards Lane, Santa Fe, NM 87507, 888-762-4240. The first of the big catalogs featuring organic heirloom seeds is now owned by M&M/Mars. The company offers a wide variety of rare and unusual seeds, including many vegetables you’ll never see in the supermarket, and some organic food and gardening products.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, P.O. Box 460, Mineral, VA 23117, 540-894-9480. Offers a growing selection of organic seed, working with independent growers on heirloom varieties that thrive in mid-Atlantic states.

Territorial Seed Company, P.O. Box 158, Cottage Grove, OR 97424-0061, 888-657-3131. Started with the goal of offering seeds that grow in the maritime Northwest, Territorial offers a growing selection of organic seed and plants.

Uprising Seeds, out of Bellingham, Washington, promises to be everything a seed company should be: small, organic, focused on heirlooms and the best bioregional varieties. If you live in the Northwest, check these guys out.