Welcome to Fedco Seeds, 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.
Fedco has five divisions: Seeds, Potatoes, Onions and Exotics, Organic Growers Supply, Trees, and Bulbs, and sends out three catalogs annually. We work out of three warehouses on the Bellsqueeze and Hinckley Roads in Clinton, Maine. We are primarily a mail-order business and do not have a retail store. See our current responses to COVID-19 for current information about curbside shopping and pickup at Fedco. Click here for directions to our warehouses.
Our big annual retail events are the Tree Sale, our booth at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine, and the Bulbs pickup and surplus sale day, and periodic visits to other special events. We do not take phone or fax orders.
Because frosts can occur in our location nine months of the year, and the ground often remains frozen for five months from late November until mid-April, we have evolved a seasonal shipping schedule for perishable items.
We ship trees and perennial plants only in the spring.
We ship fall bulbs and garlic only in fall just before planting time.
We ship seed potatoes and onion sets only in April and May.
We ship seeds from January through October, then take a break to prepare next year’s catalog.
We ship books, supplies and cover crops year round.
We have been in the seed business since 1978. We took on the Tree order from John Bunker in 1983, added fall Bulbs in 1984, picked up potatoes from Tom Roberts in 1985, and the Organic Grower Supply order from MOFGA in 1988. Beginning from a Maine base with 98 orders the first year, we now serve growers in all 50 states, filling over 58,000 orders totaling $6 million annually.
I give this seed source 9 out of 10 acorns. I've been buying from Fedco for about 10 years. I found them after a bad experience with another "go-to" seed company, looking for a place that was more down to earth, CHEAPER, and didn't send me 4 catalogs every winter. Fedco is a cooperative. Their catalog is fun, printed on newsprint in black and white (website has color photographs), contains a ton of extra info if you read it, shipping is fast, and the seeds have always done well for me. And they are simply unpretentious and open to feedback. I've had several conversations with them about various things over the years. I've also bought plants and potatoes through them with good success. They are a LONG way from me (they are in Maine, I'm in SE Washington) but they get the majority of my money every year. Good selection of heirloom and organic as well.
I can't give a rating yet, but I ordered from Fedco (and Johnny's) this year on a recommendation from a farmer friend. Thoughts so far: great selection & great prices. Shipping was expensive because I wasn't ordering enough to get free shipping, but on the whole it was still a good price. If I had planned better, I could have gone in on the order with a friend and gotten free shipping I believe.
growing food and medicine, keeping chickens, heating with wood, learning the land
I give this seed source 9 out of 10 acorns. I love Fedco and have been buying seeds from them for many years! I live in the Northeast and buy seeds almost exclusively from seed companies in my region to ensure I get regionally adapted seeds and pretty much everything I've bought from Fedco has grown well in my climate. I really appreciate the wealth of information provided in their quirky, black & white annual catalog - lots of growing info (days to maturity, germination temps, whether to transplant or direct sow, pest/disease resistance, and more) as well as comments from some of their growers on their experience growing the plant, the flavor, etc., plus occasional articles, poems, recipes, and more. They offer most seeds in multiple packet sizes and their prices are excellent. Many varieties they offer are not organic but they have a pretty strong selection of organic varieties for those who prefer to buy organic.
Additionally, for those who take into account the ethics of the companies you buy from, I think Fedco is a great business to support. As Jennifer mentioned, they are a cooperative (consumer and worker owned - more info here: https://www.fedcoseeds.com/about_fedco.htm) and they acknowledge and support traditional seed breeders and keepers through their indigenous royalties, black benefit sharing, and breeder royalties programs. At a time when many seeds are subject to restrictions on saving and/or breeding them, they are very transparent about each variety's status in regards to this and primarily carry varieties that meet the Open Source Seed Initiative's four seed freedoms (https://osseeds.org/about/). They do not carry any GMO seeds and for each variety indicate whether the seed source is a small seed farmer, family-owned company or cooperative, corporation not part of a conglomerate, multinational not engaged in GMOs/GE, multinational engaged in GMOs/GE, or Syngenta (which manufactures neonicotinoids). They do this (as opposed to just not sourcing from the big guys) because some of these companies are exclusive sources of specific varieties that are in high demand either by growers or consumers (such as Sungold tomatoes) and they want to offer buyers the chance to decide for themselves which sources to support.
The only downsides I can think of are the lack of photos in the catalog (there are photos of many of the varieties on the website) and the fact that the website is rather low tech, but neither of those really bother me. One other thing to be aware of is that Fedco actually consists of several different divisions that are managed separately and thus need to be ordered from separately: Seeds; Potatoes, Onions & Exotics; Trees; Bulbs; and Organic Growers Supply (soil amendments, cover crops seeds, etc.) - so that is slightly annoying, but again not a big deal to me.
This will be my first-time ordering from Fedco. Sure the catalog isn't a glossy Baker Creek/Rare Seed but I kind of like the format. I can always google a picture if I need to see a perfect specimen of a particular strain. Somehow all my plants grow without make-up and perfect lighting and never look like what is pictured in a catalog anyway.
Our inability to change everything should not stop us from changing what we can.
Thanks for the help on including it with the seed company grid. That's where I started, but could not figure out how to include it (I'm new to this interface and its not especially intuitive to me). You did what I originally intended. Many thanks.
I've ordered vegetable seeds, fruit scions and rootstocks from Fedco. I appreciate that they'll ship scions and rootstocks together and give you a choice of March or April shipping. Their service is top notch in fact they once did me a favor that I still can't believe.
Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! And this tiny ad too!