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It’s winter time again in the midwest, and if you are a farmer or gardener, you know what that means.. it’s time to start thinking SEEDS! With all of the shortages and people turning to growing their own food in recent years, I’ve been ordering seeds and planning my summer garden earlier and earlier.
I have been focusing more on growing food for our family and have been focusing on using high quality seeds that are either heirloom, or heirloom organic.
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This year I want to try my hand at SAVING seeds as well, so that I can build my own seed “vault” if you will, and only true open pollinated heirloom seeds can do that. If you try to save and re-plant GMO or highly modified seeds, then you won’t end up with the exact same plant characteristics as what you started out with. I haven’t saved seeds before, so I’m excited to try! Read on below for the place that is one of my go-to sources for all things seed saving!
Ok, enough about all of that.. Let’s get on to business.. Here are my top places that I’ve gone to for heirloom and heirloom organic seeds.
Bakers Creek was the first place that I started ordering from when I decided to start planting heirloom seeds! They are a big name in the industry, and only provide the highest quality seeds. They are based out of Missouri, and according to their website their mission is, “to provide the seeds of a sustainable food supply for everyone and keep heirloom varieties alive for future generations. We believe that farmers, gardeners and communities have the right to save their own seed, and in so doing preserve seed diversity and food security in an age of corporate agriculture and patented, hybridized or genetically modified seeds. All the seeds we sell can be saved, shared and traded, and we encourage people to save their own seed.” I love that all of their seeds are heirloom and can be saved, and their selection is wonderful! They also have a great selection of organic seeds, and a great knowledge section on the difference between heirloom and heirloom organic.
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit seed that I have loved ordering from. They are a community of people who have preserved and saved their own seeds. From their website: “Since 1975, we have grown, saved, and shared heirloom seeds and led a movement to protect biodiversity and preserve heirloom varieties. At the heart of our organization is a seed bank that houses a collection of 20,000+ rare, open-pollinated varieties. With gardeners like you, we can get these seeds where they belong—in gardens and on tables everywhere, for generations to come.”
One of my favorite things about their seeds is their partnership with organizations like the Community Seed Network and their abundance of educational information on their website to help people grow and save their own seeds. This year I ordered some of their seed saving bags and packets to help with my own seed saving goal this season.
Pinetree is a new seed company for me, and where I ordered the majority of seeds from this year. They were recommended by a trusted gardening friend, and I loved their prices and variety! Not ALL of their seeds are heirloom, so if you’re looking for exclusively heirloom, make sure you sort your shopping so that those are the seeds your shopping. I decide to try them out because they had shorter lead times and better prices than some of the other companies, and because I love trying something new! I also like that they do have some good hybrids like sweet corn, which TIP.. Heirloom sweet corn is NOT the same as a good hybrid sweet corn. I always like to grow a good non GMO sweet corn, that is also a hybrid for sweetness and non-starchyness. It’s just hard to get that candy sweet trait in an heirloom corn.
Their seeds are non-GMO, and they follow the safe seed pledge. I also loved their selection of herbs and medicinal/edible flowers, because I’m planning on having a large medicinal plant section in my garden this year too!
- Local Seeds
And finally last, but no least on my list is locally sourced seeds! Some of the seeds that I always purchase locally are things like potato seeds and onion seeds. For bulk potatoes this year, I’m going to be going to my local farm store, like Rural King or Tractor Supply to get seed potatoes by the pound. I picked up these potato and onion seeds at Home Depot, and they are a good option too for specialty, or smaller seed quantities.
I’m also planning on trying to go strawberries for the first time this year, and I found this little strawberry starter kit at my local Sam’s club!
I’ve also purchased locally and had great success with the Seeds of Change seeds, and I can usually find those at retailers like Rural King, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart. I think they are a little bit pricier for the amount that you get, but they’re a good heirloom/organic option if you’d like to go pick up something close by and not have to wait for shipping!
I hope that this has helped you find some good options in your search for seeds for your own gardens this year! Comment below if you order some seeds, and tell me where you got them, and what you’re planing this year!
I’ve also included online shopping options for some seed saving and growing supplies that I use and love! *affiliate links*
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Stay tuned for my upcoming guide on when to start seeds indoors and my processes for growing healthy seedlings that will be ready for transplant at the correct time! Make sure you sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when that post is up!