Winter is traditionally a time when gardeners begin perusing seed catalogs, dreaming about and planning for next year's garden. Most seed companies will mail their catalogs to you for free and signing up to receive them is easy enough from their web sites. Have you ordered your seed catalogs for 2021?
Our family prefers to use seeds that are heirloom, organic or non-GMO, as these present fewer potential health and environmental risks. As I've been learning more about seeds, I've realized that most of the larger heirloom seed companies actually serve as cooperatives or networks involving family farms from many regions that grow and save seeds for them.
Some of our favorite seed companies include:
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com)
- Seed Savers Exchange (seedsavers.org)
- West Coast Seeds (westcoastseeds.com)
- Deep Harvest Farm (deepharvestfarm.com)
- MIgardener (migardener.com)
- Annie's Heirloom Seeds (anniesheirloomseeds.com)
- Maine Potato Lady (mainepotatolady.com)
We've also noticed that the seed companies have a lot more to offer than just seeds. For example, MIgardener is very active on social media; we especially enjoy the MIgardener Youtube channel, where the founder, Luke Marion, shares energetic posts on all types of highly relevant gardening topics. Annie's Heirloom Seeds offers a charming and personal blog that we enjoy reading from our email. Some day I'd love to visit one of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds stores or go to their annual festival (these have closed temporarily due to the pandemic), where thousands gather at their store for guest speakers and to share plants and produce. It's amazing how there is a community of active followers involved with each of these companies, participating with them in sharing the joys of organic gardening and seed saving.
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