January, the time when we plan new beginnings. I hope this year, your new beginnings include growing plants! Now is the time to be ordering seeds, here are a few companies that you may like! Mother Earth News also has a seed directory in their Jan/Feb 2016 issue. Check out your agricultural extension office in your state to find a list of plants that grow well in your region. You can search your county through your state agricultural extension office to find what foods will grow well there, try googling your county/region and it should pull up some good leads.
Johnny’s is definitely one of the companies that I support. One of their greatest selling points is that they are employee owned. They offer great seed selections and their seed packs have a complete description of how to grow each crop, including germination, cultivation, and potential problems. Another way that they stand out is that their catalog is an excellent resource! They provide the same detailed information on each plant species which can be a very useful tool for a grower! However their prices are high in relation to some other very good companies so I believe in balancing brands with excellent ethos is the best way to plan for my garden, and always check their sales which are fantastic!
Some of the other seed companies that I equally support include Territorial Seed Company that also provides a great description for growers and is Oregon based. The Seed Savers Exchange (Iowa) which is a nonprofit that allows members to have a sustainable impact on seed collection and has unique heirloom varieties. Botanical Interests (Colorado) has been a favorite the last few years because they have incredible prices, and beautifully illustrated seed packets! Stark Bro’s (Missouri) is where I buy my bare root strawberries, and have been very successful with their grapes! They have fantastic customer service and if you aren’t pleased with your plant they’ll send you a new one or credit your account.
Pinetree, another Maine company, offers a great selection of herbs, garden varieties, and a myriad of homesteading supplies. Peaceful Valley out of California has great pricing on organic potatoes, and their catalog series stands out because each issue focuses on a different topic related to organic growing. Lastly, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds are exceptional for their heirloom seed offerings. Their Mansfield, Missouri location is a great place to visit!
All of these products have a different marketing mix, brand, and are located in different bioregions but they all promote more sustainable food systems which is why I love them!