Colleen Vanderlinden | About.com
More seed companies are offering organic seeds, and supporting these companies is a good way to show that we want more organics in the marketplace.
Besides the fact that purchasing organic seeds allows us to “vote with our wallet,” it also ensures that our gardens are 100% organic.
Some of us may be more interested in that idea than others, and that’s fine. Whether you’re fanatical about your garden being purely organic or not, it’s always a good idea to support companies that decide to grow organically.
[ed.-Here are ten companies that sell organic seeds. There are many more.]
If you’re looking for a wide variety of heirloom seeds, many of which are organic, the Seed Savers Exchange is a great place to start. They publish a general catalog, which anyone can order from, but if you become a member, you will get access to the members’ yearbook and directory, and have access to literally hundreds more varieties. Great for those gardeners who are always on the lookout for something unique to grow in their garden.
The Peaceful Valley catalog is interesting in that not only do they offer their own line of organic seeds, but the seeds of other seed companies as well. There is a good mix of edible and ornamental varieties here, as well as books and gardening supplies.
Johnny’s offers conventional seed and organic seed, so you do have to double-check to make sure the seed you are purchasing is an organic item. This year’s catalog offers over 300 organic products, which are easily identified in their catalog by a large, red “OG” symbol. While Johnny’s is not the least expensive source for seeds, they do offer quality seeds and provide excellent customer service.
The Burpee catalog is a mainstay in the gardening world. The full-color photos are always useful, and the prices are decent (though they seem higher this year). While they don’t offer a huge selection of organic seed, Burpee does carry a few basic organic vegetable and herb varieties. It’s easy to figure out which items are organic; Burpee publishes a list in the catalog of all of the organic varieties.
Main Street is a small company, with its catalog available to download from its web site. They don’t offer a huge selection of organic seeds, but they do offer some of the basics to get you started. The real appeal to Main Street is that they provide organic seed at prices that are very, very reasonable. They specialize in offering small amounts of seed (with the home gardener in mind) for reasonable prices.
Most garden centers carry Botanical Interests seeds. They are probably the prettiest seed packets on the market today, with botanical drawings instead of photographs on the front and tons of care information on the back and inside of the packet. Botanical Interests offers a decent variety of organic flower, vegetable, and herb seeds. The prices are quite reasonable (especially for organic seed) with most packets costing less than two dollars.
Natural Gardening is another company that does all of its business on the web. You can browse their catalog online, where they offer a decent variety of organically grown and open-pollinated vegetables and herbs. The organic items are clearly marked as such, and the prices are reasonable.
10. Dirt Works
Dirt Works is a small Vermont company offering organic farm and garden supplies. They offer a nice selection of organic, non-GMO vegetable seeds. The prices are not the lowest I’ve seen, but you are supporting a small, family-owned business. The website is full of information of interest to both organic gardeners and small farmers.
Colleen Vanderlinden has been gardening organically for over twelve years. While her first love was growing ornamentals, she soon became addicted to growing her own fruit, vegetables, and herbs. She’s gardened in everything from a single window box to a small borrowed plot, and currently rests her garden clogs on 1/4 of an acre in the suburbs of Detroit.