Nativeseeds.org: An Online Heirloom Seed Company with a Low Profile
Seeds from the Southwest Native Americans
Why heirloom seeds are good
Heirloom seeds are regaining popularity. Thankfully, citizen-gardeners are becoming aware of one of the dangers of agribusiness: the use of a few monocultivars (just one variety) for our food stuffs. It would not take too much to bring a seed strain down and re-visit a crop failure similar to the Irish potato famine. This is why the underground uses and propagates many old-time seeds.
Cookies for us gardeners and outdoor lovers!
Sources we know
Many heirloom gardeners know these providers:
Seeds of Change,
Seed by Seed,
Monticello (yes – Tom Jefferson’s place),
and a line by Ferry Morse.
I’d like to acquaint more people with this provider: Nativeseeds/SEARCH.
When one conducts a Google search for “heirloom seeds,” Nativeseeds.org appears somewhere beyond the third page. This is unfortunate because it certainly protects and sells heirloom seeds. This organization limits its scope, however, to crop seeds of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico. In fact, its other name is SEARCH, for Southwestern Endangered Aridland Resource Clearing House.” Based in Tuscon, Arizona, it has both a retail store and an on-line merchandising operation. Profit does not drive Native Seeds/Search. It is a 501[c](3) charity with the mission to conserve, distribute and document seeds.
All the same, the keyword “heirloom” is not in its name and not foremost in its literature and marketing statements. Finally, in the Vision Statement, the keywords appear:
“We envision the Greater Southwest as a place where farms and gardens, kitchens and tables, stores and restaurants are brimming with the full diversity of aridlands-adapted heirloom crops; people are keeping the unique seeds and agricultural heritage alive; and the crops, in turn, are nourishing humankind. “
www.nativeseeds.org/about accessed on July 14, 2011.
A Book I Highly Recommend - Native American Ways
My experience with ordering
I turned to nativeseeds.org/SEARCH in a bit of desperation. I wanted to try growing corn this year. (This is my first time ever growing corn.) Over the winter, my neighbor’s mother had indicated she’d mentor me in corn growing. Unfortunately, things came up in her life and the kind offer was forgotten. Being a clueless farmer wannabe, I had no idea when corn should have been planted in my area. (Try April or May.) In June, I started making inquiries of other farmer-types and received the bad news. Since my desire and my foolishness were equally lofty, I refused to be deterred. I decided to find a seed strain with a short maturation range.
Since I shopped this via the Internet, the whole world was available to me – in theory. Thus, I further decided to obtain heirloom seeds if all other factors were equal. After deliberating among my top three contenders, I chose Nativeseeds.org.
Please know that at this writing it does not offer an extensive product list. Nonetheless, they may sell exactly what you need. The processing and delivery are speedy and efficient.
My experience with growing
So far, so good. Obviously, the jury will be out until I harvest ears of corn. However, I thrillingly share that I planted most of the Maricopa sweet corn seeds on June 22nd (the day after the Solstice) and little green seedlings emerged on June 28th. It is very exciting!
Progress as of July 14th
Give it a look-see
Here is the website url: http://www.nativeseeds.org.
Take a look around!
Heirloom Seed Packet
Text and photos copyright Maren Morgan 2011.