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35 Heirloom Seed Suppliers

Its that time of year again! When we spread our seed catalogs out on the table, grab a cup of tea, and drool. What will we plant this year? Will we choose a tried-and-true tomato variety or go for something completely new? Will we set aside space for something different, like an heirloom amaranth, or a carrot from the 1800s? But even if we just have a few patio planters, dreaming about all of the gardening possibilities is a fun activity!

I typically choose heirloom plants for my seeds. I prefer the historical variety that heirlooms provide, and now that I am a new resident of New Mexico, I will be gravitating towards heirlooms that have traditionally been grown in the southwest, or which have drought-tolerant tendencies.

There is some confusion about the difference between heirloom and open-pollinated plants. Open pollinated refers to plants that reproduce successfully by natural means like insect, wind, or bird pollination. Heirloom plants (also called heritage plants) are ones with a long history, which have been passed down through generations within a family or a culture. All heirloom plants are open-pollinated, but not all open-pollinated plants are heirlooms. Being a history buff, I enjoy the heirlooms for their history as much as their tastiness.

Nowadays, heirloom and open-pollinated plants are seen as a foil to GMO (genetically modified) seeds, which are under scrutiny. Many countries have banned GMO plants for a variety of reasons. This can be a complicated and detailed topic, so a good source to learn more about why GMO seeds should be avoided can be found here.

But where do you find heirloom seeds? There are a variety of sources worldwide, and below is a sampling of good sources for heirloom seeds for your garden. If you find that I am missing a favorite source for open-pollinated and heirlooms seeds, please do add it in comments!

Some of these suppliers carry both heirloom and hybridized seeds, but will identify which are the heirloom varieties (search heirloom in each website if youre having trouble identifying the heirlooms they offer). Some, but not all, of these suppliers also offer organic seeds; they will also specify which are organic and which are not. Also be aware that some of these do not ship to all countries.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: www.rareseeds.com

BBB Seed: www.bbbseed.com

Bountiful Gardens: www.bountifulgardens.org

Botanical Interests: www.botanicalinterests.com

Burpee: www.burpee.com

D. Landreth Seed Company: www.landrethseeds.com

Fedco Seeds: www.fedcoseeds.com

Heirloom Seeds: www.heirloomseeds.com

Heirloom Tomatoes: www.heirloomtomatoes.net

Heritage Seed Conservancy: www.growseed.org

Heritage Harvest Seed: www.heritageharvestseed.com

High Mowing Organic Seeds: www.highmowingseeds.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds: www.johnnyseeds.com

Kitazawa Seed Company: www.kitazawaseed.com

Kusa Seed Society: www.ancientcerealgrains.org

Living Seed Company: www.livingseedcompany.com

Native Seeds/SEARCH: www.nativeseeds.org

Nichols Garden Nursery: www.nicholsgardennursery.com

Peaceful Valley: www.groworganic.com

Pinetree Garden Seeds: www.superseeds.com

Real Seed Catalogue: www.realseeds.co.uk

Renees Garden Seeds: www.reneesgarden.com

Salt Spring Seeds: www.saltspringseeds.com

Seeds of Change: www.seedsofchange.com

Seed Savers Exchange: www.seedsavers.org

Solana Seeds: solanaseeds.netfirms.com

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange: www.southernexposure.com

Sustainable Seed Company: www.sustainableseedco.com

Terra Edibles: www.terraedibles.ca

Territorial Seed: www.territorialseed.com

The Cooks Garden: www.cooksgarden.com

The Cottage Gardener: www.cottagegardener.com

Turtle Tree Seed: www.turtletreeseed.org

Veseys: www.veseys.com

Victory Seeds: www.victoryseeds.com

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