Seeds: Finding, Choosing, Ordering, Saving, Planting Heirloom, Organic, Open Pollinated & Non GMO Varieties

Planting time is coming soon. So I am starting to compile a list of sources for seed - with descriptions of the companies, links to catalogs, and information about how to choose the best, and how to order.

This First Installation Provides Information on Finding, Ordering, Saving, Exchanging, and Planting Heirloom, Organic, Open Pollinated and Non GMO Varieties.

Rather than a list of individual seed companies, this post links to organizations and websites that provide lists of companies selling and providing information:

- The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) has a recently updated Searchable Database of Organic Seed Suppliers produced by Katherine L. Adam (NCAT Ag. Specialist). It provides sources for organic seed of both agronomic and horticultural crops. Some national, mail-order suppliers of untreated seed are included, with the emphasis on small alternative seed companies offering open-pollinated vegetable, flower, and herb seed. See More details about this database. And be aware that certified organic buyers need to ask to view a seed supplier's documentation, including certification credentials. NCAT has not inspected certificates of any company listed in the database or their certifiers, nor does the listing make or imply any claims about the trustworthiness or business practices of any company.

- The Seedsaving and Seedsavers’ Resources Web Page has links to sources of heirloom, organic, open pollinated & non-GE seeds and includes lots of useful information about seed purchasing, seed saving, and seed exchange networks. Also includes articles and information about the politics and policy of the seed industry, and how to choose the right sources. (International)

- The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) has a Searchable Organic Seed Database. Browse seed and nursery stock listings in one of two ways: select a crop and click Browse, or enter a search phrase and click Search. Their goal is to provide a single place to find commercially available organic seeds and planting stock, but though their List of Suppliers if far from complete. Data represented here is provided by seed suppliers, and OMRI does not make any claim to the validity or accuracy of the data published here.

- The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association develops, protects and promotes the organic seed trade and its growers, and assures that the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed, free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture. Their List of Members Websites includes a number of reputable organic seed companies.

- Greenpeople.org has a List of Companies Selling Organic, Heirloom, and Untreated Seed in the US and Canada.

Many Tracks has a List of Independent Seed Companies Selling Open Pollinated and Heirloom Garden Seeds.

- The Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center is involved in identifying, collecting and sustaining family and community heirloom seeds and plants and coordinating the activities of growers of heirloom fruits and vegetables in the southern Appalachians. They have a number of resources including a Local Heirloom Bean and Tomato Seed Catalog

- Organic Consumers Association has a List by State of Companies Selling Organic, Heirloom, Open Pollinated, and Untreated Seed.

- BC Seeds is a project of Farm Folk/City Folk to encourage seed saving, support BC based Seed companies and provide a space for knowledge and seed exchange. They also provide a List of Organic Seed Producers and Retailers in Canada.

- Organic Seed Alliance supports the ethical development and stewardship of the genetic resources of agricultural seed. They accomplish our goals through collaborative education, advisory services, and research programs with organic farmers and other seed professionals. They also have a List of Companies Selling Organic Seed. - California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) has an Organic Seed Resources Page with information about organic seed, organic rules, and a list of organic seed suppliers. - The Heritage Grain Conservancy is dedicated to researching and preserving heirloom grains, and Sells Heritage Winter Wheat and Other Grains. - The Council for Responsible Genetics maintains a List of Seed Companies that signed the Safe Seed Initiative stating they will "not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants." - Michigan State University, in partnership with other institutions, hosts an Organic Seed Resource Guide compiled by Micaela Colley, Organic Seed Alliance; Alex Stone, Oregon State University; Linda Brewer, Oregon State University; and Brian Baker, Organic Materials Research Institute. It features a number of publications mainly geared toward producers and agricultural professionals seeking information about organic seed production.
http://www.growseed.org/index3.html

4 Comments on Seeds: Finding, Choosing, Ordering, Saving, Planting Heirloom, Organic, Open Pollinated & Non GMO Varieties

  1. Sadly Ireland’s farming future is one which will include GM crops, after the government does a u-turn on its policy and gives modified products the go ahead.

    http://insideireland.ie/2011/02/08/ireland-to-back-gm-crops-plan-7246/

  2. ? DuPont?” Chemical weed control”, Really, one of the worst evil(money gropeing) soil depleteing companys in existence is the advertisment I see on this sight! Red Flag anybody? How soon can I get my chemicals? ha,ha,No where to turn anymore.

    • Yeah Earthmother, unfortunately I simply can’t afford to spend 20 hours a week doing this site for free anymore. I had a donate button up for a long time, and have tried to get small companies to advertize, but soliciting them and getting them to pay is just more work for me.

      I hope you will agree that the site content is still good quality, and provides a lot of useful resources almost exclusively related to sustainable agriculture.

      So I have contracted with a company who pays me to administer the site in exchange for placing ads from the companies that pay them. They put up the ads that they put up, I have no control over it. I don’t always like them either I’ve been doing this basically for free for four of 5 years now, have put thousands of hours worth of work into the site, and unless you have some alternative solution (a rich uncle dedicated to sustainable agriculture?), I’m afraid I have no other alternative. I have to pay my mortgage, and believe me, my compensation is quite moderate.

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