It’s that time of year when the new seed catalogs start showing up in our mail boxes across the country. If you’re looking for Organic, Non GMO seeds for your vegetable garden this spring that are not associated in any way with Monsanto, or any of their seed-selling subsidiaries, like Seminis, consider this list that I have personally done business with. All of the following seed companies listed below have taken the Safe Seed Pledge and tested their stock to be free of GMOs.
The Safe Seed Pledge was created in 1999 when a coalition of 10 seed companies drafted a statement about the signers’ stance on genetic engineering. To date, 1-30-2018, the Pledge has been signed by over 370 seed companies worldwide.
In signing the Safe Seed Pledge we affirm our commitment to non-GMO (genetically modified organism) seed. We feel that the regulatory framework for the introduction of genetically modified crop varieties is flawed, and that GMO seeds themselves present a threat to plants’ genetic diversity through their ability to pollinate non-GMO plants.
While there are a growing number of great seed companies that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, I have personally purchased from these listed below and have had excellent results in my zone 8B region of Louisiana.
All of these specialize in producing and supplying sustainable organic seeds. Some are Mom & Pop businesses, others are family owned and still others are employee owned. Some even limit their focus on producing seeds for plants adapted the particular climate in their region.
A couple of them on this list do carry open-pollinated, heirloom as well as some popular hybrid seed varieties, along with onion and garlic sets, planting potatoes, berry plants, fruit trees, tools, and more.
Now you should be aware that you can’t save hybrid seeds, they will not reproduce a true copy of the parent plant. But hybrids are not GMOs. Hybrids have been specifically cultivated to offer advantages like disease resistance, or special traits, colors or flavors (like seedless watermelons or “burpless” cucumbers) that you can’t find in open-pollinated and heirloom varieties.
Here is the list in my preferred order.
#1. White Harvest Seed Company
White Harvest Seed Company is a family-owned and operated business rooted in offering diverse varieties of heirloom vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. They sow and save several varieties on their farm in the Missouri Ozarks and they love encouraging other gardeners to return to a simpler, more self-sufficient way of life.
“For thou shalt eat the labor of thine hands: Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.” Psalm 128:2
#2. Backyard Seed Savers
Healthy Seeds. Happy Life. Organic, GMO-free
ALL of our seeds are non-certified ORGANIC (produced without chemical fertilizers or pesticides) and are grown, harvested, and processed by hand–with love–in our backyard and community gardens in Pullman, WA and Moscow, ID. NONE of our seeds are patented, PVP, or genetically modified (GMO). We offer open-pollinated, public domain seed, as well as heterogeneous (diverse gene) bulk populations. Our seeds have been sourced from all over the world and we are working to adapt them to our local environments while also increasing genetic diversity overall, so varieties succeed in your environments.
#3. High Mowing Organic Seeds
High Mowing Organic Seeds began in 1996 with just 28 varieties, many of which originated in founder Tom Stearns’ backyard. Since then, our company has grown exponentially, and what started as a one-man operation is now a thriving business making available to home gardeners and commercial growers over 600 heirloom, open-pollinated and hybrid varieties of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower seed. True to our roots, High Mowing Organic Seeds continues to grow many of the varieties we sell on our 40 acre farm, setting us apart from the majority of other seed companies.
#4 Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange was founded in Missouri in 1975 by Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy. Diane’s grandfather entrusted to them the seeds of two garden plants, ‘Grandpa Ott’s’ morning glory and ‘German Pink’ tomato. These seeds, brought by Grandpa Ott’s parents from Bavaria when they immigrated to Iowa in the 1870s, became the first two varieties in the collection. Diane and Kent went on to form a network of gardeners interested in preserving heirloom varieties and sharing seeds. Today, with 13,000 members and 20,000 plant varieties, Seed Savers Exchange makes its home on 890 scenic acres in Winneshiek County, Iowa, at Heritage Farm.