75 Recommended Seed Companies
These are all companies that we have ordered from at least once within the past 5 years – with more than half of them being ones we order from every year!
Hannah Traggis, VP and Grower, Aurelia’s Garden Inc.
Order fulfillment and the time it could take to receive your seeds: Keep in mind that the small seed companies are doing the best they can to fulfill orders but, due to COVID, have limitations on how many people can be in their seed packing and fulfillment stations at a time. For example, Fedco has their staff taking shifts 24 hrs per day trying to pack and ship your orders and there are not a lot of them on staff – so a very tired crew is behind that little box or package you receive. These seed companies have been operating like this since the pandemic started so have patience and please support the ‘little guys’ if and when you can!
Where does the seed a company sells come from? Note that the larger seed companies such as Johnny’s Selected Seeds, High Mowing, and Burpee’s – sell seeds that are grown all over the world. They do not grow all of their own seeds – they try to grow some themselves – and they also contract with as many American growers as they can. They also often contract with growers overseas to purchase seeds. This is not a bad thing, it is just a fact. There are many incredibly skilled seed farmers across the globe that specialize in the unique art of growing seeds! These seed sources offer a lot of workhorse varieties that our farmers rely on and in that capacity, serve a vital role for our farmers.
Please also take a closer look at many of the smaller seed companies on our list. Many of these companies grow much of the seed they sell and, through that process, effectively adapt the varieties they sell to their environment over time. The work of producing high quality seed is challenging enough, the extra work to steward the varieties in a way that leads to regional adaptation, requires additional skill and diligence. Please consider supporting these efforts by purchasing seeds from them!
“Regionally Adapted”, “Bioregionally adapted”: keep in mind that while many of the companies below sell varieties that have been selected over the years to grow well in their bioregions, the overall premise of open pollinated seeds is their inherent adaptability to broader conditions. So if you see a really interesting variety from a company in Oregon, go ahead and give it a try! I have had HUGE success with many of these. For example, Adaptive Seeds, a small family farm in Oregon, sells many landrace and heirloom varieties originally from central/eastern Europe, a portion of the world that is climatically very similar to the northeast U.S. \
Northeast Regional seed companies:
- Turtle Tree Biodynamic seeds, Copake NY – Demeter Certified Biodynamic Seeds – they work to adapt the seeds they sell to our region and also grow many of the seeds they sell. They have also bred many of their own varieties for production right here in the northeast. All Open Pollinated seeds – owner Lia Babitch is one of my best friends
- Hudson Valley Seed Company – Hudson Valley – All Open Pollinated seeds, most produced on their organic certified farm in New York where they have been regionally adapted. Committed to ethical stewardship and production of seeds. – tons of grower advice in their library
- Fruition Seeds – Naples NY – Organic certified, regionally adapted seeds, work with Cornell to breed locally adapted varieties (try their Nantes carrots!!!). All Open Pollinated seeds – Petra has many wonderful ‘how-to’ videos
- Fedco Seeds – Maine – both Open Pollinated and Hybrid Seed, most organic certified, Cooperatively owned company that works with regional farmers to grow a lot of the seed they sell within the northeast
- Pinetree Garden Seeds – Maine – family owned and operated, small seed company – many Open Pollinated and Organic certified seeds and supplies – have a great selection of Hops!
- Vermont Bean Seed Company – Vermont – Great source for regional heirloom beans as well as many wonderful beans from around the world – Vegetables, herbs, and flowers too! – also a good source for All American Selections vegetable varieties – and, the only retail source for the Eastham Turnip seeds!
- Wood Prairie Farm – Maine – family owned – certified organic seed potatoes (large variety), vegetable and cover crop seeds as well as organic culinary potatoes. Jim Gerritsen has been a leader in the organic movement since the early 70’s – everything is excellent quality
- Maine Potato Lady – certified organic seed potatoes – heritage grain seeds and the hard to find potato onion!
- Nourse Farms – Western MA family farm – specializing in live, bare root plants – very well known and respected for their berry plants of all kinds (especially good selection of bare root strawberries) as well as asparagus, rhubarb, and horse radish
- Whatley Farm – Topsham Maine – Garlic seed – small, organic family farm
- True Love Seeds – “a farm-based seed company offering culturally important and open pollinated vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. Our seeds are grown by more than 20 small-scale urban and rural farmers committed to community food sovereignty, cultural preservation, and sustainable agriculture.” AND check out their new podcast “Seeds and Their People”!
- Experimental Farm Network – The Experimental Farm Network (EFN) works to facilitate collaborative plant breeding and sustainable agriculture research in order to fight global climate change, preserve the natural environment, and ensure food security for humanity into the distant future.
- Rooftop Ready Seeds – Brooklyn NY – seeds grown in and for densely urban areas
- Chile Plants – Stockton, NJ – online live plant orders and seed catalog – Choose from 500 varieties of Chile and Sweet Pepper Plants – 200 Varieties of Tomato Plants – 75 Varieties of Eggplant Plants – Locals can also choose from 120 varieties of Basil Plants – 20 varieties of Tomatillo Plants – and 8 varieties of Cilantro!
- High Mowing Organic Seeds – Vermont – all organic seeds, very popular supplier for organic farms in the northeast – robust breeding and trialing program to provide regional specific information about varieties they sell
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds – Albion Maine – one of the most popular seed companies for small farmers in the country – have a robust and active vegetable breeding program, producing many new varieties each year.
- Wild Seed Project – Heather McCargo, formerly of New England Wildflower Society (when it was still called that), started this wonderful ecotype specific, native plant seed company in Maine!
- Yonder Hill Farm – Chris Sanford has been breeding her own vegetables and growing all the seed her farm sells for over a decade. Adapted to the cold climate of northeastern North America, these top quality seeds deserve a spot in your production plan this year!
Additional eastern U.S. seed companies (from Appalachia to the Atlantic)
- Wild Wood Farms – Kris Hubbard is a Cherokee ethnobotanist and herbalist living in Appalachia. His extensive seed collection includes wild collected ecotype seeds from the forests and environs surrounding his family homestead. He also has an extensive offering of heirloom vegetable, flower, and herb seeds. Link brings you to his facebook page through which he does most of his business.
- Two Seeds in a Pod – Mehmet Oztan and wife Amy Thompson run this small family and farmer-owned, flavor-oriented seed company that was founded in 2013. They specialize in Turkish/Anatolian seed varieties, and offer seeds from all around the world.
- Common Wealth Seed Growers – Central Atlantic seed growers cooperative – also doing research and plant breeding working with several crops including downy mildew resistance in cucumber with Cornel University.
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange – Offering many unusual Southern heirlooms, SESE is proud that over 60% of the seed they sell is grown by small farmers that they know. Specializing in varieties that do well in the mid-Atlantic and southeast, growers all over the country have very good success with many of their varieties. I regularly order all sorts of interesting things and everything has done well here in Massachusetts.
- Monticello – Thomas Jefferson homestead museum and gardens selling many of the seeds originally stewarded and studied by Thomas Jefferson and early American settlers. Heirloom seeds and nice garden accessories
- Sow True Seed – North Carolina based farm and seed company
Other, really great, independent seed companies located across the rest of the country, Canada, Puerto Rico – and even one from Ireland! Many of these are small, family owned and operated farms that grow most, if not all, of the seed they sell. (in no particular order)
- Seed Savers Exchange – Decorah Iowa, the company that truly helped launch the heirloom seed movement in America
- Cultivariable – Totally unique site, Bill Whitman is a plant breeder specializing in growing and breeding an enormous diversity of Andean root crops including potatoes, oca, ulloca, yacon and so many more unique and exciting edibles!
- The Wasabi Store – YES, true wasabi plants from Oregon Coast Wasabi. These are NOT mustard plants that are hot like wasabi, these are the actual source of the wasabi you eat with your sushi! These plants can be tough to grow at first, but when you get their cultivation requirements dialed in, it is incredibly rewarding to harvest your own, true wasabi!
- Adaptive Seeds – Husband and wife farmer team that have traveled extensively through eastern Europe and southeast Asia through various agricultural partnerships collecting seeds that they now grow and sell – some really unique varieties here including several collected in Romania that perform exceptionally well here in New England. Grow most of the seeds they sell
- Uprising Seeds – Another great husband and wife team from Washington State – growing most of the seed they sell and maintaining very high quality and carefully selected seed stock (i.e. they produce very healthy seeds!)
- Siskiyou Seeds – Open pollinated, biodynamic, Don Tipping is a fantastic farmer/plant breeder and has been working on breeding new flowers as well as incredible vegetables (check out his new cactus flowering zinnias!). They grow almost all of the seeds they sell!
- Quail Seeds – Jamie Chevalier and family have been growing seeds for decades. Starting on a small family homestead outside of Sitka Alaska, they moved to northern California 15 years ago and were part of the former Bountiful Seeds company. They now own and operate Quail Seeds, growing all of the wonderful seeds they sell, including lots of beautiful heirloom flowers and herbs.
- Wild Garden Seeds – Frank Morton is considered one of the greatest Elders of Organic Agriculture. A pioneer organic farmer in many ways, Frank has also lead the way for farmer-plant breeders having created many of his own vegetable varieties. Frank bred the lettuce variety ‘Outredgeous’ which traveled into outer space and was grown at the International Space Station in 2014! Selected because of naturally low bacteria levels on its leaves, this red romaine truly proved itself to be ‘out of this world’! …like all of Frank’s varieties – truly special farmer and seed company!
- Kitazawa Seed Company – San Francisco based seed company specializing in a wide and wonderful array of Asian specialty varieties – lots of hard to find vegetables!
- Prairie Road Organic Seeds – Dan and Theresa Podoll are farmer/plant breeders that have created several new organic vegetables for production on their farm in North Dakota. All of their varieties perform very well here in New England! Personal favorites are: Dakota Tears onion; Fargo yellow pear tomato; Uncle David’s Dakota Dessert winter squash; Dakota Rose watermelon and so many more! Also have GREAT seed garlic available, but order that early!
- Meadowlark Hearth – A Nebraska biodynamic farm run by Beth and Nathan Corymb who have been farming vegetables, animals, and growing seeds together for over 30 years.
- Restoration Seeds – All certified organic, open pollinated, open source seeds
- Victory – Grow a lot of the seeds they sell
- Seed rEvolution – Farmer/plant breeder Steve Peters – exceptional varieties such as Dark Star zucchini and many original tomato varieties bred to replace popular F1 hybrids. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for contact information for Steve.
- MIgardener – Eclectic collection of seeds with lots of helpful growing information to boot!
- Irish Eyes Garden Seeds – small family owned farm and seed company in central Washington
- San Diego Seed Co – Small independent seed company growing and selling seeds adapted to southern California – if you know someone on the southwest coast and they need seeds, send them here!
- West Coast Seeds – Small family owned seed company with a great selection of interesting varieties!
- Osborne Quality Seeds – this small company does a fantastic job supplying high quality seeds for farmers – great people to work with and they have a strong trialing program that ensure the varieties they sell perform really well.
- Garlicana – yup, garlic – just like the name! A true specialty garlic source!
- Cultivariable – plant breeder specializing in unusual root crops and potato breeding. Very interesting material here and fascinating to read some very technical information
- Filaree Garlic Farm – certified organic garlic, shallots, potatoes and some other great stuff
- BJ Gourmet Garlic – great source of bulk quantities of seed garlic
- Tomato Fest – you guessed it… tomatoes! And lots of ‘em!
- Seeds of Italy (Franchi’s retail site) – Specializing in Italian vegetable, herb, and flower seeds under the ‘Franchi’ brand name.
- Italian Seed and Tool (Bavicchi Seeds, also called Gourmet Seeds – all the same company!) Specializing in Bavicchi Italian vegetable seeds
- Italian Garden Seeds – Specializing in Italian heirloom vegetable and herb seeds!
- Mountain Rose Herbs – Eugene Oregon – unique selection of herbs that go beyond culinary uses
- Outside Pride – Seed company in Willamette Valley, OR, offering bulk quantity seed lots for farmers. Good source for a group to purchase a lot of seed to them divide up among themselves.
- Terroir Seeds (Underwood Gardens) – great seeds, great blog, interesting and unusual Mexican herbs!
- Strictly Medicinal Seeds and Horizon Herbs – Williams Oregon, organic herb seeds
- The Garden Studio – nice eclectic mix with some unusual, rare heirlooms
- Brown Envelope Seeds – all organic farm in West Cork, Ireland. I met this company at a seed conference and swap several years ago – beautiful work and interesting varieties!
- Gonzalez Agrogardens – Seed company from Puerto Rico offering lots of foods culturally important to our Puerto Rican communities including GANDULES, which, with a few helpful considerations, will grow and produce gandul peas in our climate!!!!
and yes, I even happily order from: (large seed communities)
- Harris Seeds – Harris Seeds sells bulk quantities of seeds for farmers and smaller packets for the home gardener.
- Jung Seeds
- Select Seeds
- Renee’s Garden
- Botanical Interests
- Territorial Seeds
- Reimer Seeds
- Veseys Seeds
- Native Seed Search
- Seeds of Change
- D. Landreth Seed Company
- Sustainable Seed Company
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
- John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds
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