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Three Notable Heirloom Seed Companies In The Northeast U.S.

"Just as powerful as they are pretty. Like you, my sweet girl.”― Karma Brown


Dahlia

A package of heirloom seeds showed up in the mailbox this week. It was a small 4x6 brown envelope with ink stamps sharing a uniquely handmade series of heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, and basil. Inside the envelope was an invoice, embossed with a wax thank you note and a touch of class. I look forward to tasting South Georgia Seed Company’s “Ketchup and Mustard” tomatoes and Basil Genovese. 


Heirloom Seed Libraries

As I search the United States for heirlooms to grow and learn more about the stories embedded inside our seed savers, it becomes more apparent that preserving these seeds is key to securing our futures. Organizations like The Master Gardeners of North Yakima Conservation District and Washington State University’s Cooperative Extension participated in the development of a Seed Lending Library Program.  Programs like this one are set up to loan seeds to gardeners who, in turn, plant the seeds in their gardens, and, later in the season, return the new seed from the borrowed ones—empowering gardeners to learn how to produce and preserve heirloom seeds for more people to enjoy. As a benefit, family farmers share their knowledge and technology for all to enjoy.  



Heirlooms

Bear Creek Farm

A nationally recognized farm located in The Hudson Valley of New York, specializing in Dahlias, 100 varieties of tubers to be exact, peonies, and anemones.  The Dahlia is the national flower of Mexico, originally grown as a food source for tubers. Bear Creek Farm takes the time to curate and plant in the right soil - where temperature and fertile ground matter the most, cultivating over 25 colors, sharing the beauty with buyers from New York City, and selling their seeds across the United States. They sell seeds and fresh flowers at local markets for weddings and offer workshops at the farm. 


peonies

FEDCO Seeds 

FEDCO Seeds is an heirloom seed company located in Maine that produces hundreds of heirloom potatoes, trees,  seeds, and bulb varieties. Founded in 1978, they slowly grew their business with potato seeds as their main commodity; over time, they grew their business into a flow of 60,000 orders per year. They carry over 30 varieties of heirloom corn seeds and beautiful Asian Greens like Maruba Santoh and Grandma Mary’s - Organic, an heirloom red tomato paste varietal. 


Heirloom Squash

Landreth Seed Company

Landreth Seed Company is an heirloom seed company known as the first professional seed organization, founded in 1915.  Located in Shelburne, Vermont, and from Summer Squash to “Earliest Cabbage,” - their offerings are diverse, and their exquisite Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon is full of flavor. They sell an urban gardeners collection, with herbs and edible flower seed. 


Heirloom Cabbage

For those interested in North Yakima’s Conservation Program, The Master Gardeners offers free classes on topics specific to vegetable gardening on the third Saturday of each month from May to September at 10:00 AM in the Heirloom Garden, located at 1522 South 18th Avenue, Yakima (the same location as our Plant Sale). The Heirloom Garden is open to the public by invitation or upon request—contact Master Gardeners at gardener@co.yakima.wa.us for more information.

  


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