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Where to Find Organic & Heirloom Seeds

Updated on November 8, 2014
ecogranny profile image

An environmental enthusiast and activist her entire adult life, Kathryn shares her secrets to reducing waste and living greener.

Garden peppers
Garden peppers | Source

Find seeds and resources for GMO-free heirloom and organic garden seeds here

Remember when peppers were full of crunch and flavor? When tomatoes went "Splat!" and burst into a big, wet mess when you dropped them?

Especially, do you remember that pungent, slightly spicy, slightly sweet aroma when you bit into one picked fresh from the vine, and how the juice dripped off your chin and down your arm?

You can get all that again with a GMO-free heirloom and organic garden you plant and grow yourself.

Use this page as your resource for seeds you can order today, as well as links to some of the best organic and heirloom seed growers and sellers in the country.

Here you can also keep up to date on the latest in the race to preserve Mother Nature's diversity through seed banks and propagation, along with information about why organic and heirloom seeds are important--far beyond personal taste. In fact, they may just be the key to the survival of the human race.

Here too, you will find tips, facts and links to informative web sites and articles about GMOs, organics and heirloom seeds by the people who have been working tirelessly for decades to preserve this critical heritage.

Best of all, though, are the seeds themselves. Order your favorites today and start planning your next garden. Soon you will be harvesting the first fruits of your labors!

How do you garden?

Are you a gardener? Master? Wanna-be? Somewhere between?

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How to tell if your seeds are organic

In the United States, look for the USDA Certified seal, like the one on these seed packets
In the United States, look for the USDA Certified seal, like the one on these seed packets | Source

Seeds of Change for our gardens today and centuries to come

One of my favorite organic and heirloom seed companies is Seeds of Change. Not only do they walk their talk, but they've been doing it for a long time--since 1981

On their Why organic? page, they explain the difference between organic and non-organic seeds as follows.

  • Certification required
  • No genetically modified organisms (GMO's)
  • Independent inspections
  • Grown without synthetic pesticides or herbicides
  • Grown without chemical fertilizers

Seeds of Change has been leading the way for decades. You can't go wrong with their collections.Their certified organic salad mix seed packet is just one example of their vast selection.

I'm looking forward to trying it in my next microgreens windowsill garden. It is comforting to know there are no GMOs, and that all of the seeds in the mix are organic.

Remember how a tomato used to taste, hot off the vine? Flavor and texture still pop with heirloom seeds

Plump, juicy tomatoes ripening on the vine
Plump, juicy tomatoes ripening on the vine | Source

Heirloom seeds have not been genetically modified in a laboratory. They're the real deal. The fruits and vegetables they produce may not ship well, but when they're going from garden to table, what matters most is flavor. With heirloom seeds, the textures and flavors we loved as kids are all there.

Plant a full acre of heirloom seeds with a survival seed vault kit

As more and more seeds become extinct, or worse, their genomes are patented by big chemical companies, we have fewer and fewer organic, untainted, non-GMO seeds.

Many heirloom and organic seed companies now produce survival seed packages such as the Survival Seed Vault by My Patriot Supply. Such packages contain hundreds, even thousands of seeds in many varieties, enough to keep a family in food and seeds for generations.

Such a seed vault is a good way to start a non-GMO garden. Plant them, watch them grow, harvest and eat their bounty. Then collect seeds from a few plants you let, well, go to seed, for next year's garden.

Save and share your heirloom seeds

Join Seed Savers Exchange and join others in preserving and propagating heirloom seeds.

Teaching our children to garden assures they will always have food

Plants Give Us Food sign in the children's garden of a San Francisco neighborhood school
Plants Give Us Food sign in the children's garden of a San Francisco neighborhood school | Source

World wide, more than 50 countries label foods with GMOs

Why does the United States Federal Drug Administration (FDA) deny this knowledge to its citizens?

Learn more about it in Push to label genetically modified food gains traction.

Showing our children the miracle of life through gardening is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

I stumbled upon this children's garden one day while out for a walk. I return frequently to see how the plants are growing.

Here the children learn about the living soil and how to make compost from last year's stalks and stems. Here, too, they discover the wonder of biting into a fresh fruit or vegetable they grew themselves.

Heirloom vegetable seeds - No GMO

Another company whose seeds I trust is Ferry Morse. While they sell conventionally grown seeds as well, their organic line is rather extensive.

Tomatoes, squashes, beans and melons in nearly every color under the sun, leafy greens--they're all as good for us as they are beautiful.

If it's too late where you live to try a few in your garden this year, start planning space for them in next year's garden.

Going to seed

Broccoli & cabbage plants going to seed
Broccoli & cabbage plants going to seed | Source

For the indoor windowsill garden

A number of organic seed companies prepare excellent sprouting mixes.

If you like the crunch and taste of sprouted seeds on your salads and sandwiches and in your stir fry, try sprouting a mixed seed variety at home. It's fun and easy to do.

A great project for children, it is a good way to begin teaching them about seeds, gardening and how much fun it is to eat the foods we grow.

Tip: Get an early start on your garden

Cut toilet paper rolls in half, line up on a tray, fill each half with potting soil and plant one or two seeds according to package instructions. Place the tray in a sunny window, water as needed and watch your seedlings sprout and grow.

Happy gardening!

Thank you for visiting this page. I hope you found plenty of resources to help you on your quest to a healthy, sustainable garden.

© 2012 Kathryn Grace

Are you a gardener? Indoor, outdoor, or both?

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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @TapIn2U: Well, thank you so much. Hearing that absolutely makes my day, and it's barely 8 o'clock!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 3 years ago

      Love this! Love organic and I will always buy and eat organic foods. Sundae ;-)

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @tazzytamar: You're welcome. I understand your concern about seeds marked organic. When in doubt, order directly from Seeds of Change and similar companies who are dedicated to preserving seed diversity and availability. Thank you for your comment. It encourages me to spend more time searching for good seeds for this page.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      Thank you for this - I've often bought seeds that stated they were organic and then later not been convinced. Also, I love the toilet roll tip! I always try to re-use wherever possible and this is a great way to save buying planters. So many benefits of buying organic produce and home-grown is always best!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @smine27: Thank you, smine! Always a delight to see your comments on my pages. How fortunate you are to have such wonderful, locally grown food available to you. We have to work at getting non-GMO, locally grown produce, even here in California, but it is well worth it.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Another very interesting article and I learn a lot about GMO from you Grace. Fortunately we don't have a big problem like that in Japan as most produce are made by small local farmers in my neighborhood. Supporting small local farmers has always been part of life in Japan for many here. Plus they are usually very reasonably priced, which makes it all the more easier to buy them regularly.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      @julieannbrady: That IS interesting, Julie. I know that if one buys heirloom seeds that have grown well in a particular area or region for decades or, in some cases, centuries, they tend to be hardier and more resistant to pests and disease. Looking forward to seeing how this year's crop of sunflowers turn out for you.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 3 years ago

      I am not a vegetable gardener yet, although I do grow a lot of sunflowers. When I was starting them from seeds in 2013, I did use 2 packages of organic seeds. It was interesting how those seemed to be the heartier plants!

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 4 years ago from Texas

      @ecogranny: Hi! I actually have found out something interesting. There are many seeds that you can be sure are GMO free, not just organic ones (I didn't know this when we were talking). The NON-GMO project, an organization against GMO that seeks to track risk of GMO contaminations in various foods, has a list of which vegetables/grains are at risk here: . I noticed no herbs were on the list, and because I wasn't sure if their list covered herbs or just vegetables I wrote them specifically to ask about herbs. They said that currently there are no GMO versions of herbs, so currently those are safe, regardless of where the seeds come from. (I'm not surprised actually...herbs tend to be naturally insect resistant, which is one of the main reasons companies genetically modify plants. I was very happy about that because I bought a lemon basil plant several years back and I've been collecting and replanting the seeds. I don't remember if it was organic or not, but probably not.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @Elaine Chen: You're welcome. May your friend has a bountiful growing season.

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 5 years ago

      will pass information about heirloom seeds to my best friend who has garden; thanks for sharing

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I need to do this next: raise my own vegetables. Angel Blessed and social bookmarked to google plus, I hope others bookmark this as well. You might consider adding the book Tomatoland to your suggested resources, it is a chilling expose of the Florida tomato industry which cranks out hard, green tomatoes that are sent to us for our shelves. That is why they don't taste as good. The labor practices are horrible as well - almost like slavery. It is important to buy organic or heirloom as often as we can, and if we can't afford them - we should raise them.

    • BlissGlutenFree profile image

      BlissGlutenFree 5 years ago

      Very helpful lens. Thanks. And I like mine 'straight up' thanks!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for this info on heirloom seeds. I can use this in my garden.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I plan to feature this lens on my new (to be published later today) garden lens. The two fit together beautifully. I'm in the market for additional organic seeds for my green smoothie garden so I came back here for a return visit. I feel healthier just for having been here. I love how your lenses tend to do that.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      I grow all kinds of plants, year round, and am also a big fan of heirloom seeds so i was happy to come across your lens. It is a great resource for everyone who cares about our environment, thank you!! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do remember when peppers were full of crunch and flavor and the splash of juicy fresh sure know how to get a mouth watering! I love the idea of making little pots for our organic heirloom seeds with toilet paper rolls...clever idea! Congratulations on Squidoo home page are helping us be healthier in every way!

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 5 years ago from New York

      We only grow heirloom organic berries and veggies, supplemented with the same from local farmers' markets, which we are fortunate to have quite a few of. Hopefully the excellent job you've done on this lens will convince others to make the switch back so the planet can have a future. Blessed and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," a tribute to the best pages I've found since donning my wings.

    • wheresthekarma profile image

      wheresthekarma 5 years ago

      Great resource!

    • ferginarg lm profile image

      ferginarg lm 5 years ago

      Great information, gardening is the best fun and harvesting your own veges is a great reward and knowing that they're as nature intended them makes it even better.

    • profile image

      KRaj_DST 5 years ago

      i love to grow .. although i do not have much space living in an apartment... i do grow some herbs and flowering plants.. your lens was a good read.. thank you for all the information you have put in here..

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 5 years ago

      Great lens! Going organic is definitely a healthier alternative. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • profile image

      EmilyChristine 5 years ago

      Great info and perfect timing for my new garden!

    • profile image

      kristimoore 5 years ago

      Time to get healthy! Let's go organic. Great lens, Grace. :)

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      This really helpful. Thanks for sharing.

    • SophiaStar LM profile image

      SophiaStar LM 5 years ago

      This a fabulous article with great resources and information. Thank you I love heirloom tomatoes and I do remember when our vegetables and fruit had much more flavor!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Yes, we grow tomatoes. I'm very concerned that the non-organic vegetables in stores are coated with wax and treated with chemicals to make them appear fresh.

    • bluefire1020 profile image

      bluefire1020 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing this. There's still a lot of people out there specially on the 3rd world countries who are not aware of these GMOs. Thumbs up!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great info about heirloom seeds. I'll be referring to your tips as I plan my garden this year.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I liked this article a lot. It may seem a little simple to some but what you put in it I really liked. I know my mom would pat me on my back for liking this too. *blessed by a squid angel*

    • profile image

      Skylermeyer2012 5 years ago

      Great info about Organic & Heirloom Seeds... I love vegetables that grow in an organic way.. Soon i will purchase these seeds in amazon.. thanks for sharing informative lens.

    • profile image

      River_Rose 5 years ago

      Just as Nature made them, thanks! Great lens! Lots of great info!

    • esvoytko lm profile image

      esvoytko lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for compiling these resources into one place. And thanks for spreading the word about the anti-GMO fight. At the very least I hope we can eventually get our poisoned foods labelled as such!

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 5 years ago from Texas

      @ecogranny: Thanks so much! I'll check out the links!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @goldenecho: Excellent questions. There are a number of reasons to prefer organic seeds, but the most important one right now is that they are the only seeds you can be sure have not been genetically modified (no GMO).

      On my to-do list is a lens about the reasons we choose organic anything, including seeds, but it may be a while before I complete it.

      You will find some of your answers in the lens I linked to above by organicfarmer, "What the Naysayers Won't Say About Organic Farming" as well as some of the other links I provided throughout the lens on why we need--and choose--organic seeds.

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 5 years ago from Texas

      I can see why heirloom seeds are important, but I've always scratched my head about organic seeds. Sure, I can see why organic plants are important...but if a seed came from a plant that received pesticides or in-organic would it really be tainted enough to affect the next generation? Is there any evidence that those practices create epigenetic changes or mutations that affect the next generation? Or is that even what "organic" seeds mean? What makes a seed organic or not organic?

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      Beautiful organised lens and wonderful information.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this. Your list is quite comprehensive and really gave a lot of information. I learned a lot and I agree this is a very good resource!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I dabble in gardening and have been confused about where to get GMO-free organic seeds for an indoor herb garden. I'm bookmarking this. The information you supplied is so valuable to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to help.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      I want my vegetables grown organic from heirloom seeds. Lately, the fruit and veggies I buy at the grocery store taste fake. No real flavor. I plan to grow my own delicious and healthy (chemical-free) food. These seeds are just what I needed. Thank you!

    • tjar12 profile image

      tjar12 5 years ago

      Thanks for putting out this info on non GMO seeds. As long as they are not geneticaly modified you can keep saving your seeds and grow generations of your vegetables.

    • IDo2 profile image

      IDo2 5 years ago

      Really resourceful lens. I recently started paying very close attention to GMOs and am still in shock for FDA's silence about it.

    • sockii profile image

      Nicole Pellegrini 5 years ago from New Jersey

      Great resource. I ordered a number of heirloom and organic seeds from Italy this spring for my garden. The tomatoes I grew last year that were heirloom varieties thrived and were delicious.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow.... this is a lot of seeds! And organic, non-GMO, non-Monsanto. Good resource for many. I wish we had space where we live to grow our own tomatoes so we could pick one off our own vine and sink our teeth into a sun ripened hunk of summer! Love the page!

    • profile image

      kayla_harris 5 years ago

      Very nice Lens! And i like garden too!