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7 Unique Heirloom Seed Companies To Know When Planting Tomatoes

"The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped in dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.”  - Sandra Kring

Heirloom Tomatoes

When researching thousands of unique heirloom tomatoes, rainbows, indigos, and ice whites, we barely scratch the surface. Cherries, slicers, and beefsteaks help make up the ethos of open-pollinated heirloom tomatoes. This article identifies 7 heirloom seed companies with beautiful tomato seed offerings for your gardens or Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA).

In 2005, Colorado State University’s Agriculture Department and Tim Hartlaub, of MeadowLark Farms, in Strasburg, Colorado, tested a series of Hybrid and Heirloom tomato varieties grown in high tunnels in the “Mile High State.”  These tomatoes were tested for the best taste and texture among five individuals. They encountered two problems: blossom end rot and tissue cracking, which is common among most varieties.  All were planted in red mulch, using drip irrigation, and half the tomatoes were trellised. Ultimately, the heirloom breeds were placed at or near the top for taste and texture. Heirlooms are special breeds that are imperfectly perfect, and they zhuzh up a recipe and empower Michelin star chefs to go beyond the bounds of creativity. Further exploring the heirloom seed market, 7 heirloom seed companies might have some of the most exciting tomato seeds available online. Let’s check them out! 

Eden Brothers

The Eden Brothers Seed Company of Arden, North Carolina, carries 62 heirloom tomato seed varieties. From the Roma VF, a likely tomato for pastes and sauces, to Green Zebra, incredible for a slicer on sammies or salads. If ordering high volume, above a few seed packets, they sell some tomato seeds by the ounce. 

Heirloom Tomatoes

True Leaf Market 

The True Leaf Market sells 232 heirloom and open-pollinated tomato seeds. When shopping online, the varieties can be overwhelming - so shop with intention and pick recipes to accompany your buying decisions. Or, plant several varieties to see which ones grow the best in your garden. When researching, their staff has done a great job writing descriptions with downloadable growing guides for your online library.  Make sure to follow - Ashleigh Smith, @ True Leaf Market Writer, for some in-depth details on each product.  For the folks with larger gardens, a good value for your money might be the Heirloom Rainbow Blend by the four-ounce packet. 

Heirloom Tomatoes

Seed Nerds

The Seed Nerds Company offers 41 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and one of the more exciting seeds is their Tomatillo Purple Tomato Heirloom Seeds.  An open-pollinated and Non-GMO seed - this flavorful fruit offers a tasty alternative to the traditional varieties when considering homemade salsa. Roast them in cast iron and seal them off when hot to capture the caramelization and earthen flavors. Add them to your green chiles or dip them with salty corn chips for that sweet and hot summer bites when sipping some Rose’ by the pool! 

Heirloom Tomatoes

Thresh Seed Company 

The Thresh Seed Company -based in Guthrie County, Iowa - Becky and Dave Weeks founded Thresh Seed Company, carrying on a 140-year legacy of their family farming operation.  They carry over 60 varieties of heirloom seeds available for sale. The Mortgage Lifter is a unique heirloom variety from West Virginia that ultimately paid off the breeder’s mortgage. Their descriptions are super and contain a detailed “Grows Well With” section. Contact Becky with any questions you might have regarding seeds or purchasing by volume. 

Heirloom Tomatoes

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds 

Annie’s Heirlooms Seeds not only shares its offerings, but it also shares product reviews, offering a real-world perspective on propagating, growing, and harvesting.  For example, The Rainbow Cherry Collection offers five types of heirloom cherry tomato seeds. This particular collection includes a collection of 10 seeds each:  Chadwick Cherry Tomato (red) Chocolate Cherry Tomato (black) Golden Nugget Cherry Tomato (gold) Snow White Cherry Tomato (pale yellow) Yellow Pear Tomato (yellow). Contact customer service if you have any questions about their seeds or products. 

Heirloom Tomatoes

Bucktown Seed Company

Parker Ford, Pennsylvania, is home to Bucktown Seed Company, selling open-pollinated non-GMO seeds with wonderful naming conventions and beautiful backstories: Jeff, a photographer with a passion for farming, and wife Christa, an educator and health advocate. 2024 brings their customers 23 heirloom tomato seed offerings—a flair for a beautifully detailed description, accompanied by growing tips and seed facts. They carefully curate and photograph their stock. Most seed packets come with 25 seeds, so don’t forget to check out the Supplies section. Contact customer service to ask questions regarding volume purchases or tracking down some interesting breeds. 

Heirloom Tomatoes

Hudson Valley Seed Company 

The Hudson Valley Seed Company has a fantastic array of seed offerings, equipment, and downloadable catalogs for those who want the analog version. I enjoy printing and/or ordering a seed catalog, making notes and lists when planning to grow beds for flowers, and environmental landscaping. They have some eye-catching artwork on their Social media and throughout their website. They are also selling Shumei Natural Agriculture seed collections, a holistic Japanese method of environmental farming. As for heirloom tomatoes, in 2024, they are offering 57 varieties of tomatoes. Cesare's Canestrino Di Lucca Tomato, an Italian sauce tomato, cooks up delicious earthen and fruity flavor with a bit of dryness. Contact their Home & Garden customer service department for any questions you might have. 

Heirloom Seeds

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