Ask any gardener which seed company is their favorite, and the response will be as varied as the garden they grow. Fortunately, you can shop for the seeds of your choice online. The choice for your garden is yours, not the limited selection offered by a big box retailer. For too many years, small independent seed companies have fallen to the wayside, just like a lot of heirloom vegetables. Without the seeds, we have no plants. Seed companies are part of the heritage and knowledge that I will advocate for. By raising the awareness of heirloom vegetables to save then from extinction, the sources that supply the seeds can be saved from extinction also.
The idea for this post has been lurking around in my head for a while, so while searching for Purple Majesty Potato sets, I came across the D. Landreth Seed Company. From the font page of their website;
Since 1784, the D. Landreth Seed Company has been providing its customers with one of the most extensive selections of fine lawn and garden seeds in the world. Our founders introduced into the United States some of the most beloved flowers and vegetables known today including the Zinnia, the white potato, various tomatoes, and our own Bloomsdale Spinach. We have become the oldest seed house in America because we are passionate in our quest for excellence in quality, service and innovation.
Needless to say this got my attention, along with the fund raising drive they conducted to save the company. They fell well short of their goal, however, they will get some of my business this year, and by writing about them I hope to help them survive. You can too by buying their catalogue, which is designed by an American company and printed in America on a family-run press;
The catalogue is designed by a small, Baltimore-based and family-owned business, Victor DiPace Associates and it is printed by a family-owned local printing company. Producing this catalogue is far more expensive than it is for most companies who are outsourcing their printing requirements overseas. We charge for our catalogue to help with some, but not all, of the costs to produce and mail. Each catalogue that you purchase from Landreth is helping to keep an American employed and therefore making this country stronger.
Take a look at their site and see if something interests you. It would be a shame to see this company fold. Too many varieties of heirloom have disappeared, as well as so many small, independent American companies and jobs they provided. By supporting independent seed companies and organizations, you are keeping plants from vanishing forever, as well the livelihoods of people who have the same passion and commitment that you have. And in the end, you will delight your senses the unique palette of flavors, colors and aromas that Mother Nature provides.
I've dedicated a page to resources for heirloom seeds, plants, nut trees and fruit trees.