Gardening,  Sustainable Community

Seeds for Change

water bottle sprout
sprouting in water bottle mini greenhouse

Every year I purchase seed and perennial plants, and I generally bite off more than I can chew. So some people might say I am wasting some money on seeds that I don’t get a chance to plant. I don’t see it that way. The next year I plant some more of last years seeds, and when I start to question their viability, I set them free to fend for themselves in the wild. This leads to pleasant surprises when they sprout and grow with practically no help from me. We start nearly all our plants from seed, but there are a few places out there that offer some rare live plants that we have been experimenting with in our greenhouse. Our dragon fruit cactus is getting pretty big!

sprouting seedlings in newspaper pots

Now that the groundhog has pointed out that it’s nearly spring time again, I am eagerly perusing my seed catalogs. I won’t lie, I’ve been eagerly perusing them since before Christmas… So I wanted to share some of my favorite small, heirloom, non-gmo seed and plant sources.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds sends out an amazing free catalog every year just chock full of amazing plants you’ve never heard of and all your old favorites. And if you’ve never heard of it before, that’s OK because they have a beautiful picture of every item that’s for sale and a nice description of what to expect. They also have a more extensive catalog you can purchase. Admittedly I do most of my dreaming and seed purchasing with Bake Creek, but surprisingly they don’t have everything you might want!

I just recently discovered Southern Exposure Seed Exchange when I purchased the book Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast by Ira Wallace. While they have substantially less options, the seeds cater to the Southeast, which is exactly what I need. I can’t wait to plant their egyptian walking onions!

Native Seeds specializes in the SouthWest, but they have plenty of native seeds that will grow elsewhere. They practice conservation, preserving rare seeds, educating the public, and promoting climate resilience amongst other positive goals. Seeds can be ordered online and the proceeds go to a great cause.

Cosmos attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the farm.

High Country Gardens carries native plants and seeds for the birds and bees! I love how their catalog has a key to show which flowers will attract, hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. They sell their wildflower seed mixes by the 1/4 lb and have mixes for each region. Most mixes have both annual and perennial wildflowers.  I can’t wait to plant this years bee feast!

Don’t forget to check out your local nursery for spring sales. Just make sure they haven’t treated their plants and seeds with anything that might harm the bees!


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