Seed catalogs are a bit of an obsession for me. I love them! And looking at them online just isn’t enough. I need the feel and smell of each catalog’s particular paper. The pictures! The stories behind the seeds…all in my dirt-under-the-nail hands! I get very excited when a new one comes in the mail. I usually put it aside to enjoy quietly with my coffee the next morning. I know, weirdo… But my little addiction just might help you discover some super cool catalogs that you’ve never enjoyed.
The Best Seed Catalogs
My latest favorite seed catalogs (all organic and non-gmo): My favorite potato seed catalog Wood Prairie Farm is a small, family owned, organic farm in Maine. Their catalog has lots of other seeds but what I love is their seed potatoes! Who knew there were so many varieties of yummy, organic, potatoes?!? Wood Prairie has reds, whites, blues and each has a texture and use description. Yes, some potatoes are better fried than baked and others are butter mashed or in salads… And who can decide with some many choices? Well here’s the kicker…YOU DON’T HAVE TO! Wood Prairie Farm offers the Potato Experimenter’s Special – pick up to 4 different varieties! Territorial Seed Company has been around since I was a wee babe…ok, I wasn’t exactly in diapers but it has been around a pretty long time…1979. This newsprint, full color seed catalog has a lot of beautiful options and not just veggies; they offer flower and herbs as well. They are also the only company I’ve heard of that offer seedlings through the mail – yep and actual plant. They have a truly well laid out catalog with awesome descriptions and some veggies you might not be able to find anywhere else. For instance, go to page 48 for the Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed Lettuce. You have to grow it just so you can tell people what they’re eating when you serve it. You’re not getting any Drunken Woman lettuce on your average salad bar! They also have a radish that is purple all the way through!
This is a massive radish! The next catalog is super new for me and I found out about it through Gardenerd.com. High Mowing Organic Seeds They are an organic seed company out of Vermont. I am not going to lie, I ordered this catalog because of the OrangeGlo Watermelon. Uh, yeah, it is totally orange! Unfortunately, this lovely catalog was lost in a pile of “stuff” in the back of my car and when I rescued it I was a little too late to order those seeds. But I like the catalog and I have picked out a few things for the fall that just may need to be in my garden. Another thing I really like is their line of micro greens – very cool.
Next on my list is the Seed Saver Exchange Catalog. Another company that has been around since the 70s, Seed Saver offers a beautiful, glossy, full-color catalog; it is like a fashion magazine for seeds. Seeds Savers is all heirloom and open-pollinated seeds! What’s really neat about Seed Savers Exchange is that it is a non-profit, member-based organization. From their website: Seed Savers Exchange offers an alternative model to big agriculture through our work, encouraging participatory preservation among our members, and by signing the safe seed pledge. Seed Savers Exchange knows that the future of our planet depends on a genetically diverse food supply… Check out the Chioggia beet, on page 16, – it has SWIRLS! This could make me eat a beet!
If you’re an organic gardener you are probably know this one – KING DADDY of seed catalogs…. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds; what can you say about the most awesome seed? The cover! The pictures! The recipes! Stop me, I may swoon… Bakers literally travels the world in search of beautiful non-gmo, heirloom seeds. The catalog shows their love and attention to the cause; glossy, full-color and the thickest catalog I have in my possession. This is a work of art. But the contents are what really make it special! Not only wonderful varieties of veggies, fruits and flowers but the very people that work for Baker – from store clerks to gardeners. I could literally spend hours pouring over the pages and see something new each time I look. Some of our favorites have been Amarillo & Cosmic Purple Carrots, the Blue Curled Scotch Kale, Baby Bok Choy and the Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard. They also have some beautiful cauliflower and broccoli varieties that are on my list for the fall. Well I hope this has introduced you to a few new seed catalogs.
If you are in Arizona, I must recommend you check out Native Seed Search. Plants grown in your region or area produce seeds that do better year after year, in that area. I support this amazing seed source, not only for that reason, but their commitment to diversity and community education. If you are not in the Tucson / Phoenix area then I suggest looking for a local seed bank that offers heirloom, organic, non-gmo seeds. AND consider seed saving for your local seed bank too!
Other Seeds Catalogs Of Note
Fedco Seeds (cold hardy)
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Go out and order one or all and enjoy them with your cup of coffee! If you have a favorite I haven’t mentioned, let me know in the comments. 🙂