I’m a big fan of independent seed companies that produce and retail their own seeds. If you’ve met the people who own these businesses, you know it’s much more a labour of love than something that will ever make them rich.
Many have policies on their sites regarding GMO seeds and link to the safe seed pledge.
When shopping for seeds, these are my ideal criteria:
1. Local company in same gardening zone as mine
2. Organic growing methods
This way I know the seeds are most likely to thrive in conditions like mine.
I go to seed swaps each spring and pick up a variety of vegetable, perennial, and some flowering annual seeds. When I can’t find what I need, I also order by mail.
I start many of my seeds indoors under grow lights from February onward, ending up with nearly 500 new plants each year. It’s not just economical but it’s really fun to see the process from seed to table (or vase or flowering garden bed).
The seed companies listed here are ones I have ordered from and/or ones that are highly recommended by Empress of Dirt readers from other regions. There are lots more top quality ones besides those listed here.
For a newer (more extensive) list, see Seed Company Listings in Canada and the United States.
- Cottage Gardener (Newtonville, Ontario)
- Greta’s Organic Gardens (Gloucester, Ontario)
- Richters (Goodwood, Ontario)
- Seeds of Diversity (Toronto, Ontario)
- Terra Edibles (Foxboro, Ontario)
- Urban Harvest Seeds (Toronto, Ontario)
- Veseys (PEI)
- West Coast Seeds (Ladner, British Columbia)
- William Dam Seeds (West Flamborough, Ontario)
- Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (Mansfield, MO)
- D. Landreth Seed Company (New Freedom, Pennsylvania)
- Fedco Seeds (Waterville, Maine)
- High Mowing Organic Seeds (Wolcott, Vermont)
- Johnnys (Waterville, Maine)
- Kitazawa Seed Company (Oakland, California)
- Seed Savers Exchange (Iowa)
- Seeds of Change (Rancho Dominguez, California)
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Mineral, Virginia)
- Turtle Tree Seed (Copake, New York)
Online Seed Starting Calculators By Region
For these planting guides, you enter your postal/zip code or last frost date and they tell you when to start your seeds.
But Wait! There’s More!
Simple seed storage system – see it here >>>