Poppy Swap Forum (Home) » Herb Cultivation and Plant Identification

Safe Seeds

  • admin

This list of reputable places to get seeds from has been floating around fb. It's long but I'm sure not complete by any means.


love, kiki

~bring people herbs~

Replies to this topic

  • tamarasherbes
  • tamarasherbes

Thanks for that list!  It comes at a very good time for me.  I own a small farm and have recently begun saving my own seeds, but we purchased nearly all of our start-up seeds from Baker Creek.  We chose them for several reasons, but one of the main reasons is that they are local (within 100 miles, which is pretty close in this rural area). 

I have to say that this past year I have been very disappointed with their seeds, though.  Many of the seeds we purchased over the last year have had very low germination rates and have produced fruits that are deformed; ie, several of our squash plants are producing Siamese Twins, or odd squash that are growing leaves down the entire length of the fruit; what was supposed to be Indian Prince calendula, weren't, etc.

Perhaps this was just a bad year for them, but it has caused me to look for other seed sources (especially for fruit/veggie seeds) and it means that we won't be able to save seeds for selling this year.  In speaking to other local farmers who also purchased seeds from them lately, I have discovered that my story is not unique.

If anyone has any personal experience with seed buying from other companies I would love some recommendations!  I am in the Midwest (the Missouri Ozarks), and would prefer to purchase seeds from companies in my geographical area, as it seems they tend to produce better for me, but I am open to companies outside of the Midwest if they have a good reputation for producing true-to-species, and have proven to have good germination rates.


“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.”…Buddha

And don't forget to consider starting and/or participating in your local seed lending library! Adapted seed rocks!



¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸*´¨( Kristie {Spirit Horse Herbals} PoppySwappin' @ http://www.poppyswap.com/shop/SpiritHorseHerbals
  • greenjourney
  • greenjourney


Tamara, you are so lucky to be in the Ozarks! Here's a link to the Ozark Seed Bank, a project of the Ozark Botanical Garden in Brixey, MO. I haven't any direct experience with their seeds, as I prefer to get locally grown & adapted seeds from the Willamette Valley seedfolk.

They offer a guide called Basic Gardening in the Ozarks, here's that contact info:

One-Garden, Inc.  info@one-garden.org
Box 1, General Delivery, Brixey, MO 65618
Phone: 417-679-1003
Fax: 720-247-3419

I would have loved to have been an apprentice at Elixir Farm years ago when we started our seed business. This was our original source of some of the Chinese Medicinal Herb seeds which we continue to grow to this day. Their seeds are great, and Ozark adapted. They are associated with Stephen Foster. This link to an inspiring article about Elixer may interest you?

Sorry to hear you had such bad results from Baker Creek Seeds. I feel sure they would like to hear your story, and address your concerns. I always say that if a customer has issues with my seeds, I want to be the first to know! This is an opportunity for them to improve on their techniques or varieties, and is better for everyone in the long run.

Hope you can at least eat the squash, if not save the seeds!

Best of luck to you, Aline



Aline Crehore, Green Journey Seeds
In Plants We Trust
  • tamarasherbes
  • tamarasherbes

Thanks for the info!

I think you are right and I should let them know. I would hope that someone would tell me, were I in their shoes. It wasn't a total loss, as we have so many squash we can't seem to give it away, and many of my friends are happy for the free seeds I gave them!

Off to shop for seeds now...

  • greenjourney
  • greenjourney

Do you know about the safe seed pledge? Begun by Tom Stearns of High Mowing Seeds, this is a voluntary pledge which seed companies can sign on to, which states:

The Safe Seed Pledge:
"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.
The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities."

A current list of seed companies who have signed onto this pledge can be seen at this link:


If you scroll down to Oregon, you will see Green Journey Seeds with a direct link to our poppy swap store. Now I just need to copy this pledge into our storefront, here.

Tamara, I looked over Baker Creek Seeds (beautiful) Catalogue, and found a huge variety of Heirlooms. Reading the fine print we learn that their seeds are grown by about 100 different growers. I'm guessing that the problems you are experiencing may stem from a lack of oversight on their part. I guess that many of the seeds may also be grown outside your region. It may be helpful to ask Baker Creek for a list of regionally grown seeds?

Many folks assume that seed companies grow all the seeds they offer. This is far from true! Even the family owned seed companies, buy and resell (in their own packets) a large part of what they offer. Very few sell only seeds which they grow themselves like us. And many buy from companies engaged in biotech simply because the variety patents are owned by them. (which brings us back to Kiki's original post  which began this thread).

Squash family seeds are particularly vulnerable to out-crossing and special isolation measures are required to ensure pure seeds. In addition the squash fruits are maternal, and even though these may appear true to type, the seeds carry the genes of both the parents and can produce variable off-spring, which are only seen in the next generation.

Tamara, you might consider introducing heirloom varieties which are not currently grown in your region, by trying them out in your garden. After several successful years, you would be able to offer newly adapted seeds (to the Ozarks) and have something unique to offer. Seed Savers Exchange can be a good source, but again not all the thousands of growers will get it right all the time. Only 2-3 years of trials can ensure that our seeds are true to type.

Thanks for bringing back this important discussion on my favorite subject of seeds, Tamara, & I wish you the best of luck in your future seed saving!

In seeds we trust, Aline


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