January always feels like a fresh start to me. It’s like life just handed you a CTRL+ALT+DEL, you’ve got a chance to take a breather and then begin anew.
In the gardening calendar, January is also a great month for taking some time out and thinking about your goals for the year. Where I am, nestled in the suburbs of Geneva, it is far too cold to go outside and garden. Instead, I always turn January over to a bit of a planning month, have research on what I want to grow, and start purchasing seeds.
I’m a massive fan of seed saving, and that is the main way that I carry one crop over from season to season. But occasionally it is nice to have a bit of a change or a bit of a challenge, and with that in mind I’ve put together a list of places to get seeds.
Sure, there are a lot of suppliers out there. But what makes this list a little different is that everyone on here supplies organic and non-GMO seeds. I’m not a massive fan of putting genetically modified material in my mouth, and eat organic wherever possible, so the idea of starting with anything other than this on my plot doesn’t sit well with me.
If you are unsure of why you should be going with non-GMO, this is a great resource. And equally, organic is better for the health of our soils and our bodies, so that is a no brainer for me.
On with the list…
- SeedsNow.com are a family owned enterprise based in Los Angeles, California. They grow “pure heirloom non-[hybridised] varieties that are free from genetic engineering”, which in short means traditional varieties untouched by Monsanto. They offer growing guides and seed saving ideas, so if you’re not buying from them it might be a wise idea to bookmark the site as a resource anyway. Prices are reasonable, and postage to the USA and Canada is available.
- Baker Creek Rare Seeds is where you’ll land if you type in Nonsanto.com to your browser. I did that one day in jest, and now buy almost all my seeds from them. They are a family run farm, specialising in rare and unusual herbs, fruits and vegetables, from blue tomatoes to red corn. They ship globally and have an extensive seed catalogue which is available now.
- The Real Seed Catalogue based out of the UK, is another organic and non-GMO seed source that sells non-hybridised seeds. They have a wide range of fruit and vegetables, and even provide you with a seed saving instruction booklet so you don’t have to buy new seeds each year. They ship to the UK, Ireland, France, and Spain only.
- Jekka’s Herb Farm is the definitive source for herbs, from the woman dubbed the ‘Queen of Herbs’. The site boasts tons of variety, as well as handy growing hints. You can pick up plants if you are local to the farm, but for those of us who aren’t near Brizzle, the post will have to do. We’re waiting to hear back on where they ship and will edit this post as soon as we have that information.
- If you’re unsure of the background of your seeds, and whether they have any murky connections in their history, why not head over to our final resource EthicalConsumer.org. Here you are able to search and find the owners of every major seed label, as well as get information on their supply chain rating, whether they sell organic or not, and whether they are overall a good egg. If you don’t want to sign up for their trial (to access the information), you can just bypass this page by putting “Ethical Consumer + company name” straight into Google.
Now it’s over to you. Who have we overlooked and omitted? Where do you get your seeds from? And is organic and non-GMO as important to you? Leave a comment to start the discussion below.