I’ll finally understand those agriculture references in the Bible now that I’m starting my garden.
Getting dirty isn’t my cup of tea. Know what is? Health, wellness, and peace of mind. Recently, I wrote about how sick and tired I am of going to the grocery store. Read that post here. Well, I’m still tired, but all of my seeds have arrived.
I ordered from a few different establishments, and have a couple more things coming in (mostly herbs). You can read about these different seeds here.
Right now, though, I wanted to share which organizations I’ve supported, my experience with each, and how you can get your own.
Note: This is not an affiliate post. I am receiving no compensation for my thoughts and opinions.
Where to Buy Seeds
It was almost overwhelming trying to figure out which seeds to buy, and from where. I was rather selective with where I spent my money because I only wanted heirloom, organic, open-pollinated, and non-GMO seeds.
Why didn’t I just make it simple and buy seeds from Home Depot, you’re wondering?
Well, for starters, I didn’t want to be in public as that would tarnish my recluse loner image. Kidding.
I didn’t want to go to Walmart or other such stores because the quality of their seeds is subpar. Much of the seeds at such places are treated with harsh chemicals, they may not be open-pollinated, and definitely not organic or heirloom. You can find a brief explanation of these terms below.
These three letters stand for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). This means that the plant has had it’s genetic composition changed in some way.
As you probably can guess, non-GMO means that a plants genetic makeup hasn’t been altered. This is great because the plant will most likely still contain all of its original nutrients.
Heirloom seeds are plant varieties with history. This history is generally passed down among families, friends, and/or communities. Luckily, you don’t have to have ancestors with a green-thumb as many seed companies and co-ops have collected these seeds. Heirlooms are typically classified as such if they’ve been around since a certain date (i.e. for 50+ years)
This is when a plant is pollinated by bugs, humans, the wind, or anything else natural.
When humans pollinate two different varieties of plants.
I was successful, though.
These are the companies from which I got my seeds.
Review of Seed Companies
This is a short list of companies from which I have purchased, or will purchase. Again, this is not an exhaustive list. At the end of this list you’ll find my recommendation based on my experience.
I’ll start with the company I’ve been reading about and thinking about purchasing from for a few years now: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
1. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (Mansfield, MO)
They’re also called Rare Seeds, hence the name of their website. I first received one of their catalogs back in 2018. I, as well as Mama, love a good catalog. Their seeds met the criteria that I was lookin for and they’re not too far away from my home state, which was comforting for some reason. I liked that they had a rather large selection of seeds from different parts of the world. What I didn’t like, was that it took them way longer to ship then my other seeds, but I purchased all of them just before (and one just after) I purchased from them. I didn’t love that compared to the other 4 shipments I received in padded mailing packages, this is felt the thinnest. This isn’t the worst thing that could happen. I hope all of my seeds are fine. Also, I couldn’t for the life of me pay via credit card with them. I reached out, they responded quickly, but didn’t have a lot to offer to help, for some reason.
There were 17 things in my cart by the end. I had more in there, but because the system kept giving me errors (charging me and reimbursing me), I wasn’t able to get some of my items from them as they were sold out by that time. Actually, the were sold out of many things as it’s now the dead of summer.
I never did place my order using the card, so I had to pay via PayPal. When my package finally arrived, I had everything I’d ordered plus one additional “free” seed packet because I’d spent over a certain amount. Additionally, I like their wide, spacious and lovely packaging.
I’d order from them again, but only after checking several of the following companies first.
2. Fedco Seeds (Clinton, Maine)
They have a unique selection of seeds. I bought a few seeds that were sold out elsewhere. I even saw my beloved peonies for sale, but they were a bit pricy (or maybe they always are ?) and I already had my hands busy with the massive shipment coming to my newbie gardener self. Their packaging is simple and unobtrusive. Their prices were comparable to the others on this list. I’ll order from them again.
3. Johnny’s Seeds (Winslow, Maine)
Nothing was purchased from them, but dangit I really, really wanted to. They were sold out of the items I wanted and I’d already purchased items from elsewhere that they did still have in stock.
4. Mountain Rose Herbs (Eugene, Oregon)
As a burgeoning herbalist, they’ve been on my wish list for more than a few years at this point. I’ve just ordered herb seeds from them. They have more than just herbs and seeds, but those are the things I want know as I’m doing some self-study in medicinal herbs. I’ll update this review after I receive my glorious seeds with them. Their herbs come from #8 on this list.
5. Renee’s Garden (Felton, California)
Renee’s Garden had me pretty pumped. I liked not only the site, but their selection. I’ll definitely purchase from them again. The prices were regular. I’m still awaiting my bulbs from them. I saw that they had saffron and though I don’t use it a lot in my cooking, I don’t know, there’s something very familial about it to me. I suppose this is because I used to live in Turkey, but probably not.
6. Seed Savers Exchange (Decorah, Iowa)
They’re the best. I placed two separate orders with them, not because I made a mistake, but because I didn’t expect Baker Creek’s system to not function properly, then be sold out of my items. They ship super fast! They were the first of the five packages to arrive to me last week. Their prices are exceptional and they have a selection that is virtually unmatched by any of the others on this list (although Baker Creek comes very close)
7. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Mineral, Virginia)
SESE has some sweet stuff. They offer seeds and plants that grow particularly well in the Southern part of the US. Since I currently live in Oklahoma, I figured I’d give them a try. I was energized by their selection, too. I ended up purchasing a couple of things from them. Additionally, their packaging is a literal delight. Perhaps it has to do with how colorful and full of life things seem to be (which if you read my post, you’d know why). Similarly, their prices were comparable. I’ll 100% be ordering from them again in the future.
8. Strictly Medicinal (Williams, Oregon)
Okay, so I didn’t order directly from them, but all of the seeds I’ve purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs (MRH) are from them. I’ve just placed my order, thus I’ve not received my stuff, but I’ll update this review once I do. One thing to note is that some of the herbal seeds on the website are the same on Mountain Rose’s, but MRHs prices were cheaper. Interesting.
They seem to be really well known in the seed and gardening community. If things that go well with their seeds I purchased through MRH, I’ll order directly from them. I expect all to go well, however. Also, keep in mind that you may have bought from them in the past. They used to be called Horizon Herbs.
Clear Creek Seeds (Hulbert, Oklahoma)
I really wanted to support my fellow Oklahomans but I couldn’t as they were sold out of many of the things I wanted, or didn’t carry it. That’s okay, though. Perhaps next time.
Crimson Sage Nursery (Orleans, California)
It’s too bad I came across this woman-owned business too late. They’re based out of California and have a terrific selection of herbs and plants. Next time around, I’ll be purchasing from them.
A much more comprehensive, yet still not exhaustive, list (plus many other resources) can be seen in the “Herbal Nurseries/Seed Resources” section at The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.
You don’t have to buy from any of these companies. Shoot, you don’t have to buy anything in general. I was personally concerned about my health (I mean, it was probably my anxiety and worrisomeness, but…yeah, ya’ know…), plus the stress of going to the freakin’ grocery store was driving me mad. I turned to these companies to help soothe myself as I was just too, too stressed out. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been. At any rate, I recommend spending your hard earned money at Seed Savers Exchange. They shipped immediately. I had no issues with them. Their products are affordable and they had a large variety of products. Many, if not all, of their seeds are open-pollinated, certified organic, and organic—which thrilled me. The others are also, great, but honestly Seed Savers Exchange is my favorite so far.
Here’s my top 8 seed companies list again.
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
- Johnny’s Seeds
- Mountain Rose Herbs
- Renee’s Garden
- Seed Savers Exchange
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
- Strictly Medicinal
What are your top seed company/co-op recommendations?