[Market-farming] seed sources

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Sun Jul 27 17:14:47 EDT 2008


On Jul 22, 2008, at 6:06 PM, sarah wiederkehr wrote:

> just out of curiosity, what are people's favorite seed companies(for 
> bulk seed) and why?
> I am still working on this one!
>
> -- 
> Sarah E Wiederkehr
> Manager, Full Circle Farm
> Sunnyvale, CA
>

Fedco, Johnny's, and E&R get most of my order; I also ordered this year 
from Burpee, Fisher's, High Mowing, Irish Eyes/Garden City, Nichols, 
Seed Savers', Territorial, Turtle Tree. I really like Fisher's in 
Montana, but they only have small quantities of most things, so don't 
really fit your "bulk seed" description. Cover crop seed was from 
Lakeview Organic.

This list reflects my location; most of these carry a lot of cool 
climate, short season seed, and some of them don't have anything but. 
(My guess is that a preferred list for a California grower would be 
significantly different.) It also reflects my need for untreated seed 
and for organic seed when possible. I also have a preference for 
smaller and/or independent companies who do their own trials and 
produce some of their own seed, though not everybody listed is in that 
category; and I grow a number of unusual varieties, generally because 
they produce best flavor for me here.

Unlike some on this list, I have been pleased with Fedco. Everybody 
makes occasional errors, and has an occasional batch of bad seed, and I 
weigh company response to errors as well as frequency of errors in 
deciding who I prefer to deal with. Everyone on the list above has done 
fairly well for me, though High Mowing and Irish Eyes / Garden City 
have been erratic lately. Johnny's gets less of my order than they used 
to partly because of price, and partly because they frequently drop 
varieties that have worked out well for me, so I go looking for those 
elsewhere. Johnny's is however one of the best places to go if I need 
something in a hurry (a situation I try to avoid). I expect some of the 
additional cost goes into their ability to provide rapid service.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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