When you’re planning your garden, one of the most important things to know is where to buy organic non-GMO seeds.
The foundation of your organic garden is in the soil and and the seeds. If you have organic soil and use organic gardening methods but use seeds that have been grown with pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizer or have been genetically modified, then you are supporting the non-organic industry to some degree. There could easily be chemical residue in these seeds, or in the case of GMO seeds, the chemicals may be inside the seeds, not to mention the unknown factor of DNA tampering.
I always recommend using certified organic non-GMO seeds. And just for the record, that moniker is a bit redundant. All certified organic seeds must be non-GMO or they cannot be certified as organic.
Organic non-GMO seed companies
So where should you buy your seeds? You may have a local nursery that carries a line of organic non-GMO seeds. And I am all in favor of supporting your local businesses. But over the years, I have found that a display rack from a seed company has only a fraction of the varieties of what is available in that company’s catalog. If you just want the basics, you’re probably fine in shopping locally. But if you want to try three kinds of squash, 15 different varieties of tomatoes, 10 different peppers, you’re going to need to buy from a catalog to find everything you’re looking for.
That’s why you need to know the best seed companies that carry organic non-GMO seeds.
Here is my shortlist of catalogs I like. Some of them sell only organic seeds. Some have a large selection of organic. So always read the fine print. They have all signed the Safe Seed Pledge which is a promise to not sell GMO seeds.
High Mowing Organic Seeds
All their seeds are 100% certified organic. They are a family owned business started in 1996 with just 28 varieties. Now they offer over 600 varieties of heirloom, hybrid and open-pollinated vegetable, herb and fruit seeds. They have set the standard for organic seed production and were instrumental in getting the Safe Seed Pledge in place. They stress the importance of being part of the community in which you grow whether as a farmer or an individual gardener.
The Organic Gardening Catalogue
in Hersham, Surrey, England
Located in the UK, the Organic Gardening Catalogue (notice the British spelling!) is put out by Garden Organic, the leading organic gardening organization in Europe. They have supplied organic seeds for over 50 years. You don’t need to be a member of Garden Organic to buy seeds from them, but when you join, there are benefits including a 10% discount on all items. They sell no GMOs. Most of there seeds are organic and they are moving to have all organic seeds in the near future.
Don’t let the black and white cover fool you. This is a serious catalog. Fedco, in business since 1978, offers a wide variety of certified organic seeds with a special focus on cold-hardy varieties adapted to the cold Northeast climate. They have separate catalogs for trees, bulbs, potatoes and organic gardening supplies. Fedco is a cooperative so the consumers own 60% of the company and can have a voice in running the company.
Grass Valley, California
Peaceful Valley began in 1976 and sells only certified organic seeds that have been produced sustainably, as well as many heirloom and open-pollinated varieties. They also offer various catalogs with organic growing supplies, soil amendments, and fruiting plants and much more. Their website has many very helpful videos about organic gardening.
Johnny’s Select Seeds
Johnny’s began in 1973 as a sole proprietorship but is now 100% employee owned. They offer a wide selection of certified organic seeds. They also sell tools and supplies. They are proud adherents to the Safe Seed Pledge. They have instructional videos, and many online resources including a seed calculator to help you know how many seeds are needed in a given size garden bed.
Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange began in 1975 and is a non-profit, member supported organization. Their mission is to “conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.” They facilitate the nation’s largest seed swap and operate a seed bank with over 20,000 varieties. There are many certified organic seeds in their offerings and the organization has signed the Safe Seed Pledge. They offer a wonderful array of thousands of heirloom varieties as well as gardening products.
Seeds of Change
Seeds of Change offers a smaller but excellent selection. All their seeds are certified organic, preserving heirloom and traditional varieties. And they sell organic flowering bulbs as well as lots of useful tools and garden related products. They too have signed the Safe Seed Pledge as a promise to their customers that there are no GMOs in their products.
Territorial Seed Company
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Territorial Seed began in 1979 and offers hundreds of organic and heirloom seed varieties. They have signed the Safe Seed Pledge and have taken on an active role in the evolving organic agricultural presence in the market place. They also have a fabulous online garden planner.
Little River, California
http://www.tomatofest.com/ (online catalog only)
Tomato Fest began in 1991 and is a small company dedicated solely to organic, heirloom tomatoes. Gary Ibsen and his wife personally grow and harvest all the heirloom tomato seeds by hand to bring the world’s best-tasting and largest selection of organic heirloom tomato varieties. They offer over 620 varieties – all certified organic, no hybrids.
All Good Things Organic Seeds
www.agtoseeds.com/ (online catalog only)
All Good Things Organic has a wonderful selection of varieties, all of which are certified organic. It is a small operation but committed to helping gardeners, growers and farmers with high quality organic seed. They have signed the Safe Seed Pledge and are committed to helping preserve seeds for future generations.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Started in 1998 they now offer over 1700 varieties! Unique seeds from over 70 countries, the largest selection of heirloom varieties in the U.S.A. One of their goals is to preserve and promote the world’s agricultural heritage. Some of their seeds are organic, but they are not always clearly marked. Baker Creel supports the organic gardening way of life all seeds are GMO free. They offer many heirloom and heritage seeds from the 19th century from all over the world.
And if you live in Australia…
Here are a couple of online sources for organic seeds. I don’t know what the certification process is down under, but if you live in Australia, I hope you will be familiar with all that.
Green Patch Seeds http://www.greenpatchseeds.com.au/ Australia, organic seeds]
Green Harvest http://greenharvest.com.au/ Australia, organic seeds]
There are lots of other catalogs that have organic and non-GMO seeds for sale, but these are my favorites.
If there’s another catalog I have left out that you really like, or one from other parts of the world, please leave a comment below and let me know what it is. As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.
Here’s to your well seeded garden,
Organic Gardening 365
Helping you get the most out of your garden all year long
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