The primary job on the farm in January was seed selection, so over the last couple of weeks, the seed orders have been arriving, much to my delight. I seem to be old enough now that my memory turns simple things like this into surprises, and it would appear that in my seed ordering frenzy I treated myself to a few new tools. Therefore, it has been feeling a little like Christmas around here. I like it! Since I often get asked where we get our seeds, I am going to take some time this month to highlight the three seed suppliers we use most often.
T & T Seeds, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA
I like supporting T and T Seeds when possible because they are a Canadian company that is relatively close to our home in Saskatoon. Thankfully, they have just made some great improvements to their online product catalog and ordering process which makes buying from them a lot easier. Since Winnipeg has a similar growing climate to us in Saskatoon, the seeds they choose to carry are already selected to be more appropriate for our shorter and often cooler growing seasons.
High Mowing Organic Seeds, Wolcott, Vermont, US
I have been impressed with High Mowing's commitment to organic seed production and I appreciate their interest in building community among the vegetable growers they serve. For these reasons, I look for ways to order from them even though they are outside of our country. They are the only seed company I know of that offers a Community Supported Seeds Share program, which allows you to pay an early deposit in the fall in exchange for a discount on your future orders.
Johnny's Selected Seeds, Winslow, Maine, US
This is another supplier with a rich selection of great seed varieties, both organic and standard. Like High Mowing, Johnny's actually produces a lot of their own seed and conducts trials of everything they offer so they are very knowledgable about their products. Johnny's serves more commercial growers and stands out for me not only for their seeds, but for the specialty tools they provide for small scale vegetable production.
Honourable mention would go to Early's Farm & Garden Centre, as the best place to buy seed here in Saskatoon, as well as West Coast Seeds and Veseys, two other Canadian suppliers with pretty good selection and easy online ordering.
Now, what we chose from these seed suppliers is a whole different story. Since seed catalogs are a like a gardener's candy store it is tempting to try one of everything, but I only have so much space and time so I have learned to be disciplined with my selection process. In the end, I usually settle for a blend of tried and true varieties and a few new varieties to test out. This way I can enjoy the dependability and rewards of growing crops that have already proven themselves in our climate and still enjoy some of the anticipation and curiosity that comes with growing new varieties.
I have shared our full seed selection list for this season with our Classroom members. It includes every seed variety we'll be growing, a couple notes about the reasons for our selections, and direct links to the supplier of each seed. To check it out, just type "seed selection" in the Classroom search bar and click on the first post that pops up for you.