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Some Seed Sources For Recommended Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Berries

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Finding Suppliers For Cultivars

There is a select but fairly lengthy general list of seedsmen elsewhere on this site; this page is a tabulation of sources for the particular vegetable cultivars we recommend on this site.

(Note that if you are fortunate enough to have a local supplier—whether seed house or just neighborhood hardware store—that carries seed for any of the cultivars in question—and many are fairly common—you should support that local supplier by buying there. That also, of course, helps save on postage.)

Let us be clear here: this is very definitely not a comprehensive list of all seedsmen who carry any of our recommended cultivars. It is not even a comprehensive list of such seedsmen out of our “select list” of seedsmen (on the page linked above). Rather, it is a list of suppliers restricted to the few seedsmen that we find it handy to order from. We here list them and offer a few comments on each, so you will understand how we came to select these few, and why we think ordering from them is your best bet.

(It is quite possible that even just from among those seed houses listed here, some one or another veggie attributed to house X might be found at one of the others; but for the houses with few items shown, the bigger ones did not have those seeds or plants.)

Also note that these lists do not include suppliers of things we ourselves are not going to be putting in this season—such as artichokes or cardoon or rhubard—because we haven’t put in the time to locate suppliers for those.

And above all, remember: when you are searching out seedsmen, always check out their reputation at the invaluable Garden Watchdog site!


Major Houses

Fedco

You can get the complete Fedco story straight from the horse’s mouth, but the highlights are these. First, Fedco is a cooperative, not a business in the ordinary sense, and, as they say, therefore “profit is not our primary goal.” Second, and deriving from the first, is that their prices are very low by comparison with virtually every other supplier; while a dollar here or there may not sound like much, when you add up a complete order for a substantial vegetable garden, the difference is strikingly non-trivial. Third, and again derived from first, Fedco is punctilious about what kinds and quality of seeds they carry; they are not averse to carrying hybrids, but everything is plainly labelled and there is a definite preference for open-pollinated and even organically grown seed (they often make both standard and OG available for a given cultivar, the OG being only slightly more expensive). Fourth, and especially helpful to us, they are, as they say, “your source for cold-hardy selections especially adapted to our demanding Northeast climate.“ [emphasis in original]

So what’s not to like? (Garden Watchdog ratings for the seeds line—separate ratings for their three divisions—98% positive; Fedco Bulns, 100% and Fedco Trees 92%.) Unless you live in the deep south—and perhaps even then—Fedco should be your first choice for any vegetable type they carry; with us, it’s to the point that we will even consider changing our choice of a cultivar if Fedco doesn’t have it but does have a more or less fungible type that they recommend. We can scarcely say how important and wonderful it is to find a major seedsman whose recommendations you can trust to be meaningful and valid.

Seed Savers Exchange

It is hard to over-state the importance of the work that this non-profit organization is doing toward preserving our heritage of edible foodstuffs types. SSE is an organization, but it is also a huge society of dedicated member seed growers and preservers who make a plethora of often rare and unusual vegetable (and herb and fruit) varieties available to one another through the annual SSE Yearbook. You can read more about this wonderful organization direct from them, though their modest little statement doesn’t begin to really emphasize their importance.

The retail operation that we link to above is a sort of sideline of the SSE farm, whose proceeds help support SSE and its work. Their prices are not low, but are typical of what commercial seed houses charge, and when buying from them you not only know you’re getting good seed of varieties selected with care, but that you’re helping support an excellent and important project.

We recommend that all serious—and, we suppose, even casual—vegetable gardeners become members. You do not need to be a member to buy from the retail site linked above; but, if you are a member, you can buy seeds direct from other members, and the available variety is vastly greater than in their ordinary retail lists. Membership information is available on line at their site. (There is also a related but separate Flower and Herb Exchange.) Garden Watchdog reviews are over 90% positive.

Baker Creek Seeds

This house has grown to be one of the major supplier of open-pollinated heirloom seeds, as well as numerous exotics from around the world. Their extensive actual customer comments on the various plant varieties they sell can be very helpful when evaluating cultivars. Alkmsot 96% positives at Garden Watchdog.

Territorial Seeds

This is a big commercial house with a solid reputation for quality and integrity. They have a broad spectrum of material, not just vegetable seeds: the lazy or timorous can buy seedlings from them; they have a panoply of gardening equipment and supplies; and they have handy things like cover-crop seeds. It's a big site: look around. Garden Watchdog shows 89% positives.

SeedsNow

We haven’t dealt with them before, but they apparently have over 50 employees (and so qualify, to us, as "major", and they have 96+% positive ratings on Garden Watchdog. Their site is a bit over-jazzy, but the products and service seem just fine. Over 96% positives on Garden Watchdog.


Smaller Houses

Every year, we discover another charming small supplier doing a great job. These are the ones we're currently ordering things from.

Adaptive Seeds

From their front page: We steward rare, diverse and resilient seed varieties for ecologically-minded farmers, gardeners and seed savers. Our seed is adapted to the Pacific Northwest and other short-season northern climates. We sell only public-domain, open-pollinated (OP) seed, as well as diverse gene-pool mixes. They are in Oregon, and share some specialty seeds with the folks listed next, who are in Washington State. Garden Watchdog reviews are few but 100% positive.

Uprising Seeds

From their “About Us” page: We are proud to have been Washingtons first 100% Certified Organic seed company. We are farmers first, and the majority of our work is still in the fields: performing variety trials, improving and breeding crops, and producing seed. We produce more than half of the seeds we sell in our catalog at our home farm, Uprising Organics, just north of Bellingham, WA. The remainder of our varieties are sourced from our fantastic network of family farms in Washington, Oregon, N. CA and Idaho. (No Garden Watchdog reviews yet.)

TomatoFest

A thirty-year-old company of some note with an over 94% positive rating at Garden Watchdog. Obviously they specialize in tomatoes (and they grow all their own, no contracting out), but they also have a small line in herb seeds and some flowers. It’s described as “a small, family-run company”. Garden Watchdog is 94% positives.

Terroir Seeds / Underwood Gardens

Another small, dedicated house for open-pollinated heirloom seeds. Their site has, besides the store proper, a lot of useful, helpful bits of gardening advice; there is also a handy page on cool-weather crops. Over 96% positives on Garden Watchdog.


Live-Plant Suppliers

Filaree Garlic Farm

An independently owned grower and supplier of premium quality garlic seed for 28 years. They have not only garlics galore, but also shallots, seed potatoes, and asparagus crowns. Their site has an excellent advice page on Growing Garlic. They are in Omak, Washington, not so very far from our location. Their GW rating is 100% positive.

Oikos Tree Crops

Despite the “Tree” in their name, they carry a myriad of fascinating and often unusual crops. We found them through their widew assortment of sunchoke (aka sunroot aka Jerusalem artichoke) roots. They carry such other unusual crops as hardy potatoes (perennial!), Apios ground nuts (which look fascinating—we want to try them next year), bamboo, and more. Browsing their site is a ball. Their GW rating is around 85% positive.

Sooner Plant Farm

These folks are almost wholly landscape plants—shrubs, flowers, trees—but that category includes some useful edibles. We found them as a supplier of the hard-to-locate Rosemary cultivar “Blue Tuscan”, said to be the best culinary type; they also carry the remarkablly hardy Chicago Hardy Fig, and of course numerous fruit trees and bushes. At Garden Watchdog, their rating is over 97% positive.

White Flower Farm

Though this house also does mainly landscape plants, they also have a substantial line in vegetable seedlings, notably tomatoes but also many herbs and vegetables, even asparagus crowns. At Garden Watchdog they’re only 58% positives, but we have purchased a fair bit from them over the past few years and have always found their service responsive, their plants substantial and healthy, and their quantities generous (they often ship more than ordered). YMMV.



Seed Sources By Vegetable/Cultivar

A "reverse list"—by seed house that is—follows this table.


Asparagus [crowns]:
   Jersey GiantGrowers Solution
Beans:
   Beans, pole:
   Musica (Romano)Territorial
   Scarlet Runner (runner)Fedco
   Thai Purple Podded (“yard-long”)Baker Creek
   Beans, bush:
   Windsor (fava)Fedco
Beet:
   LutzUprising
Broccoli:
   UmpquaFedco
Brussels Sprouts:
   Gustus [hybrid]Fedco
Cabbage:
   Green:
   Storage #4 [hybrid]Fedco
   Red:
   Mammoth Red RockFedco
Carrots:
   Nantes FancyFedco
   Tonda da Pirigi (ball)Fedco
Celeriac:
   TellusAdaptive
Chard, Swiss:
   Bright LightsFedco
Corn:
   Bodacious RM [se hybrid]Fedco
Cucumbers:
   Poona Kheera (round)Baker Creek
   Marketmore 76 (standard slicer)Fedco
Eggplants:
   Rosita, standardFedco
Flowers, Edible:
   California Poppy: Rainbow MixBaker Creek
   Marigold: Tangerine GemFedco
   Nasturtium: Jewel MixFedco
Fruits & Berries [plants]:
   Fig: Chicago HardyBaker Creek
Garlic [bulbs]:
   Romanian Red (porcelain)Filaree
   Chesnok Red (purple stripe)Filaree
   Russian Red (purple stripe)Filaree
   Sicilian Silver (silverskin)Filaree
Greens:
   Cress: Wrinkled, Crinkled, CrumpledFedco
   Mache: Large-Leaf Round (large-seeded)Fedco
   Mache: Verte de Lambrai (small-seeded)Fedco
   Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia)Fedco
   Orach: AuroraFedco
   Purslane: GreenBaker Creek
   Salad BurnetAdaptive
Herbs:
   Seeds:
   Basil: Genovese (flat-leaf)Fedco
   BorageSeed Savers Exchange
   ChervilFedco
   Chives: PolyvitAdaptive
   Dill: Fernleaf (weed)Fedco
   Fenugreek: BlueUprising
   Garlic Chives: ChineseBaker Creek
   Lemon BalmFedco
   LovageFedco
   Parsley: Gigante d’ItaliaFedco
   Sage: BroadleafFedco
   Summer SavoryFedco
   Plants:
   Bay Tree (Bay Laurel)Territorial
   Mint: SpearmintTerritorial
   Mint: ApplemintOikos
   Oregano (Greek, hirtum)Territorial
   Rosemary (Tuscan Blue)Sooner
   Tarragon (French)Territorial
   Thyme (French)Territorial
Kohlrabi:
   GiganteFedco
Leeks:
   Bleu de SolaizeFedco
   LancelotFedco
Lettuces:
   Batavian:
   Concept, greenFedco
   Cardinale, redFedco
   Butterhead:
   Butterhead, greenFedco
   Bronze Mignonette, redFedco
   Romaine/Cos:
   Jericho, greenTerroir
   Heading:
   SummertimeUprising
Melons:
   Minnesota Midget (Muskmelon)Seed Savers Exchange
   Noir des Carmes (Cantaloupe [true])Seed Savers Exchange
   Alvaro (Charentais)Fedco
   Dove (Ananas)Fedco
Okra:
   Clemson SpinelessSeed Savers Exchange
Onions:
   Clear Dawn (yellow/brown)Fedco
   Red Wethersfield (red)Fedco
Parsley Root:
   AratFedco
Peas:
   Lincoln (shell)Fedco
   Cascadia (snap, early)Fedco
   Sugarsnap (snap, late)Uprising
Peppers, Sweet:
   Bell:
   King of the North (red)Fedco
   Sun Bright (yellow)SeedsNow
   Horizon (orange)SeedsNow
   Frying:
   Gatherer's Gold (yellow)Territorial
   Italian Sweet (red)Territorial
   Other:
   Habanada (sweet)Baker Creek
Peppers, Hot:
   Black HungarianBaker Creek
   Plant-Early JalapeñoTerritorial
Radish:
   Easter EggFedco
Saffron (bulbs):
   Saffron CrocusWhite Flower
Scallions:
   Ishikura Long WinterUprising
Scorzonera:
   Noir de RusseFedco
Shallots [bulbs]:
   French (red)Filaree
   Gray (grey)Territorial
Sorrel:
   French [Rumex scutatus]Terroir
Spinach:
   Amsterdam Prickly-SeededBaker Creek
Squash:
   Summer:
   Benning’s Green Tint (pattypan)Terroir
   Winter:
   KabochaBaker Creek
Sunchokes [tubers]:
   Gute GelbeOikos
Swiss Chard:
   Bright LightsFedco
Tomatillo:
   Toma Verde (green)Baker Creek
Tomatoes:
   Standard:
   Anna RussianBaker Creek
   Beaverlodge SlicerTomatoFest
   Black PrinceFedco
   Cosmonaut VolkovFedco
   Sophie's ChoiceTomatoFest
   TaxiTerritorial
   Plum:
   Purple RussianSeed Savers Exchange



Available Vegetables/Cultivars By Seed House

A "straight list"—by vegetable/cultivar that is—precedes this table.


Fedco
Bean, fava (Windsor)
Bean, Runner (Scarlet Runner)
Broccoli: (Umpqua)
Brussels sprout: (Gustus)
Cabbage (Mammoth Red Rock)
Cabbage (Storage #4)
Carrot (Nantes Fancy)
Carrot (Tonda di Parigi)
Corn (Bodacious RM)
Cucumber (Marketmore 76)
Eggplant (Rosita)
Marigold (Tangerine Gem)
Nasturtium (Jewel Mix)
Cress (Wrinkled Crinkled Crumpled Cress)
Mache, large-seeded (Large-Leaf Round)
Mache, small-seeded (Verte de Cambrai)
Miner's Lettuce (Claytonia)
Orach (Aurora)
Basil (Genovese)
Chervil (Chervil, 60 days)
Dill, Weed (Fernleaf)
Lemon Balm
Lovage
Parsley (Gigante d’Italia)
Sage (Broadleaf)
Savory (Summer)
Kohlrabi (Gigante)
Leek (Bleu de Solaize)
Leek (Lancelot)
Lettuce (Bronze Mignonette, Butterhead [red])
Lettuce (Buttercrunch, Butterhead [green])
Lettuce (Cardinale, Batavian [red])
Lettuce (Concept, Batavian [green])
Melon (Alvaro, Charentais)
Melon (Dove, Ananas)
Onion (Clear Dawn Yellow Storage Onion, yellow)
Onion (Red Wethersfield, red)
Parsley Root (Arat)
Pea, Snap [early] (Cascadia)
Pepper (King of the North, Sweet, Bell, red)
Radish (Easter Egg)
Scorzonera (Noir de Russe)
Swiss Chard (Bright Lights)
Tomato (Black Prince)
Tomato (Cosmonaut Volkov)
Baker Creek Seeds
Bean, pole (Thai Purple Podded Yard-Long)
Cucumber (Poona Kheera)
California Poppy (Rainbow Mix)
Purslane (Green)
Garlic Chives (Chinese)
Pepper (Black Hungarian, Hot)
Pepper (Habanada, Sweet)
Spinach (Amsterdam Prickly-Seeded)
Squash, Winter (Kabocha)
Tomatillo, green (Toma Verde)
Tomato (Anna Russian)
Chicago Hardy Fig (plant)
Territorial Seeds
Bean, pole (Musica)
Pepper (Gatherer's Gold, Sweet, Corno, yellow)
Pepper (Italian Sweet, Sweet, Corno, red)
Pepper (Plant-Early Jalapeño, Hot)
Tomato (Taxi)
Shallot (Gray [grey])
Bay Tree (Bay Laurel)
Mint (Spearmint)
Oregano (Greek hirtum)
Tarragon (French)
Thyme (French)
Seed Savers Exchange
Borage
Melon (Minnesota Midget, Muskmelon)
Melon (Noir des Carmes, Cantaloupe [true])
Okra (Clemson Spineless)
Tomato, plum (Purple Russian)
Uprising Seeds
Beet (Lutz)
Fenugreek (Blue)
Lettuce (Summertime, Iceberg [green])
Pea, Snap [later] (Sugar Snap, Snap)
Scallion (Ishikura Long Winter)
Filaree Farms
Garlic, Porcelain (Romanian Red)
Garlic, Purple Stripe (Chesnok Red)
Garlic, Purple Stripe (Russian Red)
Garlic, Silverskin (Sicilian Silver)
Shallot (French [red])
Adaptive Seeds
Cauliflower (Prestige)
Celeriac (Tellus)
Burnet (Salad)
Chives (Polyvit)
Terroir Seeds
Lettuce (Jericho, Romaine [green])
Sorrel, French [Rumex scutatus] (French)
Squash, Pattypan (Bennings Green Tint)
SeedsNow
Pepper (Horizon, Sweet, Bell, orange)
Pepper (Sun Bright, Sweet, Bell, yellow)
TomatoFest
Tomato (Beaverlodge Slicer)
Tomato (Sophie's Choice)
Oikos Tree Crops
Sunchoke (Gute Gelbe)
Mint (Applemint)
White Flower Farm
Saffron Crocus
Sooner Plant Farm
Rosemary (Tuscan Blue)

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