Seed ordering


One place will be getting all my seed moolah this year.

The problem, of course, with ordering from only one place is that later catalogs come along and you get tempted. I mean, do I really NEED Egyptian (Walking) Onions? I might just.

And then I might just need to order more Asian vegetables. Especially yard-long beans.

Reading Fedco’s catalogs is an education. They avoid Frankenseeds. Their refund policy is exemplary. Their organic seed is well-researched. They tell you how heirlooms perform against “improved” and hybrid varieties.

But I will tell you this: even though it is out of my zone, and even out of my area of the country, Fedco is a cooperative, and they culitvate heirloom trees, especially cold-hardy apple varieties. We’re in the market for an orchard, or rather about 18 trees. And even though I live right in the middle of the fruitbelt, apples are not as big here as peaches, or blueberries. And it’s apples I love…and apricots, pears, plums…

And IF it’s peaches and blueberries I want, I know where to get them, locally.

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10 responses to “Seed ordering

  1. Be grateful for the absence of apples, at least of large orchards of just apples… Our farm is a few miles away from three major orchards and growing any edible apple organically is pretty much null since the convential trees pass on so many dieseases and bugs – at this point our young trees are coddled a bit, but each year one dies and we replace it with a pear or a peach…

  2. My love for Fedco is strong and pure. Because we order with a group, I need to get my order in on the 16th (!). Doesn’t leave too much time for me to be unfaithful. 😉 The only downside about Fedco is that sometimes their seed doesn’t come true.

    Whaddya need cold-hardy apples for? 😉

  3. Hey Liz: My experience with a lot of seeds, especially heirlooms, is that not everything “comes true.” At least Fedco tells you about their previous year’s experience with said seed. It’s all a big surprise.

    And Shannon, we *do* have thousands of apples near us. And the folks nearest us practice IPM (integrated pest management). Seems we live in a really buggy area. They tried to do organic and lost a lot of customers because people can’t get around the idea of apples with splotches on them. Fools!

    We have a few apple trees. They’re at least 60 years old, and look it…though they’re still productive. Yum.

    You’re right, Liz; I don’t need cold apples…but others might!

  4. the Contrary Goddess

    I hate fedco! Absolute idiots to try to deal with, sucky customer service, and the one play I absolutely will buy nothing from even if they are the only place that has it. To each his own. Southern Exposure is great, among many others. Maybe not for Michigan though

  5. I have yet to download their catalog. Must add to the to-do list. I think my whole order might be from Baker Creek this year. But then I just got the Select Seeds catalog, so a few flower seeds might come from there. And really, doesn’t everyone need walking onions?

  6. Considering Michigan is the new Tennessee and Tennessee the new Texas, I should look into Southern Exposure seeds! Thanks for the tip, CG. I haven’t had major problems with Fedco, but then again, I have yet to put a monster order in with them. Johnny’s gets my vote as being the most user-friendly, knowledgeable folks. For years I have ordered from Baker Creek (cheap+heirlooms=bargain) but you get what you pay for, which is, NO INFO about what you’re ordering. I mean, what’s a northern girl to do when she plants southern cowpeas for the first time and the instructions say “plant like beans.” Pole beans? Bush beans? Fava beans? THANKS.

    I think most seed companies are only marginally helpful. Makes me seed-save all the more.

  7. I love Fedco! I prefer buying as many seeds as local to New England as I can.

  8. St. Lawrence Nurseries has a lot of cold hardy fruit trees, organically grown. They are colder than Fedco.

  9. the Contrary Goddess

    Hmmm, I never expect to be educated by the seed supplier. We like Baker Creek. We mostly get beans from the grocery store, save seeds, but one year we got 12 very odd varieties from Purcell Mountain Farms, which sells beans to EAT and therefore they are affordable. I don’t think we can afford seed beans from anywhere.

    A place I love to look at but never ever buy anything from (their price is too dear) is edible landscaping. We also like Wilhite (Texas). We often have an order from, oh, that herb place in Washington state, whoever they are (noun aphasia strikes again). I should do the seed thing on my blog — we pick up as much locally as possible, love the seed-n-feed places (and produce stands and nursuries that also carry seeds), etc. We save but sometimes not well (we ruined tons of seed last year). blahblahblah

  10. Doesn’t everyone need Egyptian walking onions…my goats think so!

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