The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Good seed companies

Okra seedsFor those of you who don't like numbers --- thanks for slogging through this technical lunchtime series.  I've saved the best for last!

In a previous incarnation, Steve Solomon was the founder of Territorial Seeds, so it's no surprise that his personal experiences with seed companies and seed storage are the most powerful part of the book.  He explains that most seeds sold to the home gardener are low quality, primarily because most of us don't know any better.  ("Those seeds didn't come up?  Oh, I must have done something wrong!")

Nearly all seed companies catering to our demographic simply buy bulk seed, repackage it in pretty envelopes, and sell it for high prices.  Only a few seed companies either grow their own seeds or perform large seed trials to ensure that the seeds they're selling are the proper variety, are vigorous, and have high germination rates.  Without these tests, you could end up in the same boat I was in last year --- I bought some Goldbar Hybrid seeds from Jung last year, and ended up with a squash that looked nothing like the picture on the website.

Steve Solomon contacted dozens of seed companies to inquire about their growing methods, and came up with these few recommended suppliers for the United States.  He notes that you'll get the best results by buying from a company in your climate zone.

I've always wondered which seed companies were good and which ones were not, so I'm glad to finally read an in depth analysis without lots of guesswork!

Quit your job and start to live!  Microbusiness Independence shows how.

This post is part of our Gardening When It Counts lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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