By Elizabeth Conrad
An unusually warm winter has turned into an early spring, and lately I find myself day-dreaming about warm sunny days, deck parties with friends, and swimming in cool Maine waters. At our house, my husband is the gardener AND the cook, and over the past year, his interest has piqued regarding heirloom varieties. Our commitment to preserving food diversity and security drove us to seek out as many resources as we could. In fact, we found so many great on-line and print catalog sources for organic and heritage seeds and plants - complete with instructions - we thought it nice to share with our readers.
One of our best discoveries this year was purely accidental. Last weekend a Sunday drive led us to Old Weathersfield, Connecticut - an amazing place that has been producing seeds for New England gardeners since 1811. Comstock, Ferre & Co. offers 250 varieties of open pollinated non-GMO seeds. The floors were old wide plank with rows and rows of paper seed packets. I think there must have been 50 different varieties of tomato seed alone - and we came home with enough seeds to keep us in vegetables for ten years!
In addition to Comstock Ferre & Co. , we have a surprising number of great resources are right here in New England including the High Mowing Seeds located in Wolcott, Vermont and Fedco Seeds of Waterville, Maine. Another Maine based seed company, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, has a large selection of heirloom and organic seeds available.
igI am sure that I have missed many other worthy enterprises here in our region, so look around and see what might be available right in your community!
Check www.permacultureactivist.net/seeds/SeedResrcs.htm for an excellent list of heritage and open pollinated seed companies. In addition, the Seed Savers Exchange in Iowa is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the preservation of our seed heritage. Happy planting!
Elizaebth Conrad is co-founder of Common Good Market, a New England (Virtual) Town Square Market for the 21st Century offering an outstanding selection of high quality sustainable and eco-friendly products for the home made by New England artisans and crafts-people. Common Good Market believes that buying locally made products helps build more resilient local economies, leads to improved environmental outcomes for our region, and a better future for our children. Visit Elizabeth's blog to read more.