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What's your favorite source for seeds, plants and trees?

 
pollinator
Posts: 526
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Jamie Chevalier wrote:Yes, there is a new testing protocol that has brought the price way down. I have not submitted samples to different labs to see how accurate it is--the only way to find out.

This makes me even more curious why Baker Creek, which pours so much money into color printing, events, concerts, and costumes, still has no mention of testing for GMO contamination. All you see are claims of "pure" seed--which has no legal meaning whatsoever. Contrast this with Uprising Seeds policy of testing every batch of corn and discarding any that do not come back as 0% comtamination. Or with FedCo's policy of testing. Or with all the companies that identify which seeds are certified Organic, which at least theoretically excludes GMOs.



Hmm... The 2018 catalog, which arrived yesterday, says in bold letters underneath the introductory info on corn: "GMO TESTED: Genetically Modified Organisms were NOT found in any of the corn varieties listed in our catalog."  This is not the first time I've seen this mentioned.  Indeed, a couple years ago they had a statement that they had reduced their corn offerings for that year, because they were unable to source certain varieties that tested clean.  Seems like sufficient mention of testing to me.

They also mention that the sugar beet seed they sell is GMO-free.  Soybeans (edamame) too.
 
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Me too. I apologize. There is no such text on their website.
 
Posts: 7
Location: Southwestern Ontario, zone 5
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I'm in Canada and use my own seed whenever possible. For unusual herbs I buy from Richters and have had good service from them. For veggies that I don't save seed from (carrots, beets, cabbage, etc) I buy from West Coast Seeds or Veseys (East Coast). Both have given good service - haven't had to complain. I also get seeds from friends.
 
pollinator
Posts: 601
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
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Christina Fletcher wrote:I'm going to be working on creating threads for our favorite seed, plant and tree sources. It would be most helpful if you chimed in and shared your favorites and why.

Is there a specific item you like to get from that source?

What have your experiences with them been like?

If you had a problem, how was it handled?

Thanks in advance fellow permies!



This is quite a task to pull all these sources together. I live in a very cold zone 4, so the kinds of seeds I seek may not be what someone in zone 8 would choose. I save a lot of my open pollinated seeds, like my Chinese garlic, the sweet clover [white and yellow] that grows along the road. I plant and check what grows well, like the giant purple hyssop, then I replant those. For the things I buy, I go to local growers. One is Jung's garden Center. https://www.jungseed.com/ They have very few GMOs and I request non-GMO seeds, even if I have to pay a little more. They also have a nice collection of apple trees, bushes etc. My experience with them has been quite good. If you keep your receipt, they will replace a tree that failed to grow the first summer. They are long on advice, if you ask. Other than this, I get some perennial plants from the Energy Fair in Custer, WI.
These are local folks that have tried more varieties and can tell me which one do well for them: I had tried at least 5 times to grow pears: I love pears.[with a slice of cheese, DELICIOUS] but they would soon die of the blight in their first summer. I bought 2 pear trees from this orchard farmer, explaining my problem and he found me 2 varieties that are growing well and no sign of blight so far. But I'm eclectic and if I find something that will suit my garden and my taste, I go for it. I find a lot at the County extension services and I can buy in lots of 25 seedlings that are surefire winners in the Central Sands of Wisconsin: Sugar maples, white pines.... Small but cheap, and what I don't get in height, I gain in a reduction of transplant shock. I also go to the February Alliant fair in Madison. There are quite a few workshops and I always learn something valuable. And, of course, we swap locally and I will give away a lot of my seeds too: I'm a beekeeper, so if I give my neighbors some seeds of flowers that my bees like, I make my neighbor AND my bees happy. Every one wins!
 
Posts: 41
Location: California Sierra Foothils, 2,500 ft. Elevation zone 8b-9a
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A nonprofit group is https://www.seedsavers.org/mission

For heirloom seeds to buy and exchange if you are so inclined. They have a huge selection for most any climate and variety. Their mission is to promote heirloom seeds with help from the growing community. From what I understand none of their seeds are gmo.
 
Posts: 2
Location: SW Oregon
4
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Great thread and so many weeds to work through here.
I appreciate the input thusfar.

I have been an organic seed grower for 25 years and I have a small family farm based seed company in SW Oregon called Siskiyou Seeds
https://www.siskiyouseeds.com/

I have grown seed on contract for many other seed companies that carry organic seed (Johnnys, Seeds of Change, Fedco, Terratorial, High Mowing, etc...)
One thing most people don't know is that the vast majority of seed companies do NOT grow any seed whatsoever, despite their branding and imaging.  They are brokers that buy from the big multi-national giants and then give off this impression that their are Ma & Pa operations.  Sadly, lack of Transparency is the norm in the seed trade.  For instance - I was told by the seed buyer for Johnnys that that acquire about 70% of their seeds from China!!!

A number of small Family Farm based organic seed companies have emerged in recent years.  Siskiyou Seeds joins a cadre of farm based businesses that grow most of the seed, do some plant breeding and have a deep intimacy with the varieties that they carry that hasn't been around since the era of seedsmen of the early 1900s.  Companies such as Wild Garden Seeds, Siskiyou Seeds, Uprisings, Adaptive, Fruition, Hudson Valley, Grand Prismatic, All Good Things, Salt Spring Seeds, Meadowlark Hearth, Turtle Tree and others are the future of high quality Open Pollinated Seeds - Please support family owned businesses such as these.
In my opinion businesses such as Baker Creek are a dis-service to the craft of growing organic seeds as they are not transparent as to where they source their seed, it's not organic, have questionable ethical practices as to respecting indigenous cultures that share germplasm and their seed quality is shaky at times (from my personal experience in trying to grow their seeds).  

Just as the Farmer's Market and CSA movements helped to put a face on the food, we now are tasked with putting a face on the seed, supporting those committed to producing high quality, open pollinated organic seed.  Or better yet, save your own seeds!

For those that are interested in the later we offer a biennial workshop called the Seed Academy that is an on Farm, 5-day intensive in Seed Saving, Plant Breeding and Reproductive Biology in plants at our home farm, Seven Seeds Farm
.
Check it out here:http://www.sevenseedsfarm.com/2016-workshops/events-classes-2015/
 
Posts: 254
Location: Northern New Mexico, Latitude:35 degrees N, Elevation:6000'
13
forest garden fungi books bee solar greening the desert
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www.strictlymedicinalseeds.com  -  seeds and plants
www.burntridgenursery.com  -  fruit trees and bushes
www.raintreenursery.com  -  fruit trees and bushes
www.lawyernursery.com  -   trees and bushes in bulk
 
pollinator
Posts: 1491
Location: northern northern california
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a lot of my favorites are already on page 1 !

but worth a repeat :

http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/

https://treeshrubseeds.com/

strictly medicinals
(formerly horizon herbs)

some smaller seed companies i have purchased from and been happy with :

eon seed

http://www.sampleseeds.com/

love to window shop online -->

http://www.raintreenursery.com

trees of antiquity

Rolling River Nursery
 
Posts: 25
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Save a lot of my own seeds, lots of success with bare root plants from edible acres.org in trumansburg ny
Awesome YouTube channel too!
If I do order seeds I like adaptive, turtle tree and siskiyou(? sp.)
 
Posts: 87
Location: Hot, humid, sometimes hurricane drenched west central Florida
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Tripp, thanks for the cool referral. What a beautiful website - some of the photos are stunning. I scrolled through their available plants and most are sold out, but I laughed when I got to the last plant - Miscanthus Grass!! It's invasive as hell here in central Florida - tell them to come get mine!!😆
Seriously though, their ideas on what it's good for makes me see it in a whole new light. It's fierce stuff. You cut a clump down as far as you can get to the ground and you'll be tripping over that hard mound of deadness for the rest of your days. Oh wait, that's called bio-mass. Gotta get my head yanked around to this way of thinking🙄
 
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I’m with you.  I prefer local sources, which is why I enjoy seeds donated to the Nashville Library Seed Exchange by patrons.  One may check them out for free with a  library card. All that they  ask is that you share your seeds in return.
 
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Oh, so glad you posted about Nashville Public Library Marissa, I need to go!  I wish we had a plant swap in Nashville... hmmm
 
Posts: 87
Location: PA, zone 6a
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This seems to have been revived a small bit. So I will mention a few companies.

Wanderlust Nursery:
Sells a bunch of odd / hard to find edible plants - seeds. Decaisnea fargesii -Lardizabala biternata - Akebia quinata - Toona sinensis - Tasmannia lanceolata  - Drimys winteri - Hovenia acerba - Zanthoxylum simulans - Capparis spinosa
A lot of the edibles are above my growing zone. Akebia quinata can't be shipped to me - considered invasive on the other half of my state...

Far Reaches Farm:
Mostly sells plants for ornamental uses. But they have species / subspecies that aren't really available anywhere else. Some things go out of stock, never to return.
As for some edibles they have: Mertensia maritima - Fragaria vesca 'Muricata' - Rubus lineatus - Decaisnea fargesii CDHM 14633 - Tasmannia lanceolata 'Mount Wellington' - Tasmannia lanceolata 'Suzette'. A lot of these aren't listed as edible on the website, so they may have be treated or sprayed.
They have a selection of Asarum caudatum and a lot of other medicinal plants as well. Again not everything is listed as edible - I would try and save seed to regrow plants rather than eating these. Or email and ask if individual plants have been treated or sprayed.

Edgewood Nursery sells a bunch of different Alliums - other uncommon things.

As for seeds, it usually varies from year to year on what my favorite sources are. I tend to buy things for breeding, afterwards I keep whatever tastes and grows the best. I also prefer different sources for different crops. So I will mention a bunch. Bakercreek - Adaptiveseeds - Restorationseeds - Experimental Farm Network - MIgardener - Turtletreeseed - Nativeseeds - Cultivariable - HRseeds - Prairie Moon Nursery - Hayefield - J&L Gardens - Sheffields.

Also of course - seeds from swaps.

I might go and update the list if I remember any other sources.

As I mentioned before I usually grow things for breeding purposes - these sources may not have things of interest for everyone.

I don't really have a favorite. Hard to choose with the diversity that all of these sites offer. Mentioned a bunch of offered plants as well.
 
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Strictly Medicinal Seeds (the best company I have felt with for seeds)..

Lori
 
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Check out Edible Acres sometime! https://www.edibleacres.org/  They have a great selection for being a small, family-run permaculture nursery and do a great job of education about the plants they stock.
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