To say 2020 seen an increase in people growing their own food is an understatement. According to one survey, gardeners spent 42 percent more time gardening in 2020 (University of Illinois) and plan to continue in 2021. Bakers Creek Seed Company is already having to do shut downs temporarily to keep up with online demand. People do not want to be caught without seeds, which happened last year, taking everyone by surprise.
Because we absolutely should be growing our own food if we are able to (and if we have learned anything this year, we definitely should be working towards more food security )……so where’s a gardener supposed to get all the seeds ?
Well, if you didn’t save seeds from garden, and let’s face it some are much easier to save than others, you are most likely :
A) looking to order or B) looking to trade.
Both are fun and I will walk you through some resources for both.
But I preface buying seeds with this: Seeds belong to the earth, and are an important part of our life here on Earth. When seed companies mess with technology in order to “OWN” seeds and everything they are grown on, we need to be wary where their intentions lie: with health? with the earth? with feeding people ? Or with profits and control?
A great movie to watch, starring Christopher Walken, is about 70 year old Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser. His 1998 fight for the right to save his own seeds and the subsequent fall out is available on Amazon Prime. You can watch the trailer Here
That was an important and necessary rabbit hole. Now here we go:
A) Buy your own seeds.
I buy as local as I can. That way I know they have been hardy to our climate.
- Yonderhill Seed Company
- Revival Seeds
- Annapolis Valley Seeds
- Hope Seeds
- Veseys Seeds
- Halifax Seed Company
One I have had great luck with (and I love their message and variety) is Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds. Their catalogue is my treat to myself in November as it costs $9.95 US to buy but seriously it reads like a book. There is incredible stories about the seeds,growers, and tips. Last year I grew pink celery, tatsoi, ball mums, onions, and a number of new varieties of tomatoes from here with great results. And IMPORTANT : because they are Heirloom I can save the seeds year to year and not have to purchase more.
B) trade or seed exchanges:
Social Media- Okay, I am just going to say I love social media for this purpose. It’s not often you hear good about social media but here you go.
If we are going to use social media, seed exchanging/give aways are a great way to make sure it’s for the greater good and feeds people. Recently I offered up some Waltham Squash Seeds to my local peeps because I can’t stop saving them, and I seriously cannot plant them all.
FB Groups- In the Maritimes, we have a seed saving group and check the local garden groups as well.
You can join the newly formed Maritime Seed Exchange Group Here.
Local Buy and Sells -If you put it out there you have seeds to exchange and what you are looking for, chances are very good in my experience , you will find someone to help.
Libraries – Also a little known fact is local libraries have seed exchange or giveaway programs. I have utilized these in the past , and they are fantastic. Free is good !
Let me know what you are growing or if you are buying from somewhere new this year so I can follow up your experience.
And I’ll probably place an order too haha. If you are a gardener at heart like me, you know exactly what I mean. The struggle to stop buying seeds is real!
PS My Edible Gardening for Beginners ebook is available on our website for just $5! You can buy it Here I wanted to make this affordable and accessible to everyone during these strange times.
I am going to be hosting my in person courses here on the farm as well, although it may look a little different. Stay tuned !