The 2014 gardeners’ porn magazine has arrived. Let the lusting and drooling begin…
Until I became aware that quality seeds matter, I thought you bought seeds wherever from whomever. I mean, as long as it grows, right? (Well sure, until you start thinking about the downsides to using GMO seeds.)
Then as I started gardening and having success with some seeds and not others, it became apparent why it’s also beneficial to plant local seed varieties, cultivated to thrive in specific regional climates.
You can learn how to save seeds yourself — just remember, it’s important to store seeds properly — but if that’s too much work or it’s too late in the season, it’s good to know where you can get quality seeds.
Remember, some plants are more particular about the environment they’ll grow in, so it may be beneficial to choose from a source whose seeds come from your own or a similar climate region, too.
Where I’m from, the first name off anyone’s lips when talking seeds is West Coast Seeds, best known for their gardeners’ porn annual seed catalogue. The catalogue IS full of beautiful pictures, but the best part when you’re in the garden planning stage at the start of the season is their regional planting chart.
West Coast Seeds provides valuable information, along with gardening books and tools, but as I understand it, they don’t actually source their seeds locally. There are a variety of companies that produce seeds grown in our own climate, many of which are also organic. Here are some options:*
Stellar Seeds Sorrento, BC
Salt Spring Seeds Salt Spring Island, BC
Full Circle Seeds Sooke, BC
Two Wings Farms Victoria, BC
Sunshine Farm Kelowna, BC
Other suppliers from slightly farther afield…
Wild Garden Seed Oregon, USA
Heritage Harvest Seed Carman, Manitoba
Lindenberg Seeds Brandon, Manitoba
Territorial Seed Co. Oregon, USA
Talk about taking eating local to a whole new level: you can eat regionally adapted plants, while supporting your Eat Local economy! Learn more about organic seeds at Organic Seed Alliance.
The guru of west coast organic gardening and seed selection is West Coast Seeds. I’ve heard the name uttered in hushed, reverent, gardener-in-the-know tones particularly in reference to the annual West Coast Seeds free Gardening Guide.
If you want access to non-Monsanto-interfered-with seeds, these folks are your local source.
Not only do they have over 600 vegetable, herb and flower seed varieties, they have the envied, must-have, Planting Chart for Coastal BC on page 6. The catalogue/guide is filled with gardening tips, organic pest solutions, and other misc. gardening information that make it worth its weight, even if you buy your genetically modified seeds from the local hardware store or nursery.
If you can’t get down to their Delta location (must have car and up-to-date map!), by all means check them out online, request the catalogue, and order your seeds by mail. If you can get to the store, you’ll be treated to a wide variety of books, tools, garden enhancements (i.e. bee houses), and friendly advice to assist in your organic gardening endeavours.
Oh, and sign up for their newsletter, which is also full of timely planting tips — seasoned and novice gardeners alike will want to know what West Coast Seeds has to say.
PS: The website is a goldmine of information, peruse only when you have plenty of time to “waste”.
Note: (Jan 2010) I get periodic comments from individuals asking or accusing West Coast Seeds of selling GMO and/or Monsanto seeds. Frankly, from the comments I see it feels a bit like an urban myth that won’t die. However, Local Delicious makes no claims and is not a representative of West Coast Seeds. If you have questions, please contact WCS directly. If, on the other hand, you have proof of misdoing, we’re happy to talk…