About our seeds
Following our founding mission, we offer seeds that are not only rare, open pollinated, and primarily heritage or heirloom varieties, but ones that our supporters (customers) are encouraged to propagate and save seeds from. We also sell some hybrids, and clearly mark them as such.
In an effort to keep seeds available to growers and breeders, we have begun offering an increasing number of varieties that have been pledged to the Open Source Seed Initiative. We do not offer patented, licensed or PVP protected varieties. As a mission-driven organization, public domain seeds are at the core of our values.
Our seeds meet or exceed industry and regulatory standards and we are licensed by the Texas Department of Agriculture as a retail seed dealer. We discard or donate seed that does not meet our high standards.
Although we are strong advocates for, and practitioners of the principles of organic and sustainable agriculture, we have not been able to justify the added fees and ongoing expenses associated with the USDA's Organic certification process.
Our primary mission of seed variety preservation focuses our limited resources on placing rare and threatened varieties into as many home gardens and seeds savers hands as possible. Since we do not target sales towards farms or market growers, certification is not critical to our primary supporters.
Additionally, unless otherwise specified, our seeds are untreated and many of the varieties that we offer are not available anywhere else. Certified growers can therefore use our seed as outlined in the standards.
A note to gardeners regarding untreated seeds:
Conventional agriculture employs the use of fungicides and other chemical treatments to protect and allow the seed to germinate in wet and cool conditions. Almost all of our seed is untreated. That is, they are not treated with any fungicides or chemicals. We suggest that you plant after soil conditions have become moderate so that a good stand can be established. Attempting to plant too early is gambling with the loss of your seed purchase.
GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) - We pledge that we will not knowingly buy, or offer for sale, any plants or seeds that have been genetically modified through laboratory practices known as Genetic Engineering (GE). We will continue to offer only standard, open-pollinated seed varieties as well as non-GMO hybrids. Call us old-fashioned . . . please! Click here to read The Safe Seed Pledge.
Our Packaging - In designing the packaging for our packet seed line, we wanted to provide a product that people would recognize, appreciate, protect the seeds, and yet not be cost prohibitive.
We use a few different packaging envelopes for our seeds, and in 2023 we transitioned to mylar-lined resealable packets. As gardeners ourselves, we wanted a way to reseal and protect the unused quantity of seeds for later use (see seed storage). Currently our tobacco, flowers and most herbs are packaged into a 2ml resealable zip baggy and that is then placed inside a paper envelope. The vegetable seeds are sealed directly in mylar packets. The most rare or expensive vegetable varieties are placed in a 2ml zip baggy first, and then that is placed into the mylar packet. In 2024 we will transition back to paper envelopes, for a variety of reasons, but most importantly because the paper envelopes permit us to include growing instructions directly on the envelope, and we have found this to be a crucially important component of the packet.
Seeds sold in larger quantities (1 pound or more) are weighed into large paper bags (similar to brown lunch bags), folded over, stapled, taped closed, and labeled.
Resale - In order to maintain the high quality of our seed, we only sell direct to customers. We do not sell through any other outlet or agent - resale of our seeds is not authorized and constitutes trademark infringement through implication of endorsement. If you have purchased seed packets bearing our name and they were not obtained directly from us, no warranty is extended and we would suggest that you return the product to the vendor for a refund.