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In Barb's Garden

organically grown, open pollinated, Heritage/Heirloom seed sources
by Barb Foster
by Barb Foster


Inspired to nuture, Barb Foster took up gardening over a decade ago. She has a particular passion for this areas hardy perennials.

Barb collects her own seeds, grows seedlings in a greenhouse and has 500 sq ft of growing beds plus numerous perennial flower beds in her Zone 1b garden in Chetwynd, B.C.

Barb writes weekly for the Chetwynd Echo.

January 4, 2009

A few of my dearest friends have asked about sources of organically grown, open pollinated, Heritage/Heirloom seed sources. One should look carefully at what it is you are buying. Unless a source is certified organic, you will have no guarantee that the product is purely organic. However, it is up to you to decide how organic you need your seed to be.

Open-pollinated, means the seed is not a hybrid and is supposed to reproduce a plant, typical of the parent plants. Heritage and Heirloom seed refers to seed from long established open-pollinated plant types. The seeds can be saved season after season and will reproduce a reliable typical, plant.

These Heirloom plants are in danger of being lost. For the most part; because of the predominate commercial use of newer hybrid, and genetically manipulated seed. Seeds of Diversity Resource List 2008; . Provides a long list of seed producers.

Seed companies and nurseries that sell heirloom and rare or endangered varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs.

None of the following are known to myself and I submit them only as examples of possible seed sources, for those of you seeking organic, Heirloom seed.

Agrestal Organic Heritage Seed Co. P.O. Box 646, Gormley, Ontario L0H 1G0

Canadian owned and operated company specializing in certified organic heirloom vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. Catalogue free.

AgroHaitai Ltd. PO Box 33560 Dundurn PO, Hamilton, ON L8P 4X4 519-647-2280 fax: 519-647-2280

A unique source of oriental vegetable seeds. Catalogue free.

Boundary Garlic P.O. Box 273, Midway, B. C. V0H 1M0 250-449-2152 fax: 250-449-2152

Heritage varieties of seed garlic organically grown. Catalogue free.

Clover Roads Organic Farm RR #2, Hagersville, ON N0A 1H0 905-768-5499

A Canadian supplier of verified/certified organic, Heritage/Heirloom tomato, vegetable and flower seeds. All our seeds are open pollinated; grown and hand harvested on our verified organic farm. Our commitment is to preserve and perpetuate heritage varieties. Online catalogue. Catalogue free.

Cottage Gardener Heirloom Seed 4199 Gilmore Rd., RR#1, Newtonville, Ontario L0A 1J0 905-786-2388 fax: 905-786-2204

A family-owned heirloom seed and plant nursery specializing in Certified Organic seeds of heirloom vegetables, herbs, perennials and annuals. Plants available each spring. Over 500 varieties of rare and/or endangered, open-pollinated seeds from the past. Catalogue free.

Crafty Gardener Box 794, Fort Langley, BC V1M 2S2 604-882-8364

Mail order catalogue online. Plant sales in Canada only, seeds worldwide. Specializes in garden-worthy species of perennial and annual flowers. Many North American native and many heritage and heirloom varieties. All seeds come with specific growing instructions, and website has detailed growing from seed directions. Printed Catalogue $2 refundable with first order. Catalogue $2

Grass Root Seeds Box 397, Princeton, BC V0X 1W0 250-295-0094

Open Pollinated & Heritage Garden Seeds --I have been involved in seed saving and sharing for over 17 years and had the pleasure of being part of the historical horticulture team at Upper Canada Village for 8 years.Grass Root Seeds is my continuing growth in participating in keeping bio-diversity in our food supply and to practise sustainable farming/living. Catalogue free.

Green Space Design PO Box 122, Manson's Landing, Cortes Island, BC V0P 1K0 250-935-0135

Green Space Design grows a comprehensive selection of organic flower seeds, organic herb seeds, and organic vegetable seeds.Catalogue on line. They also offer gardening design and care. Catalogue free.

Heritage Harvest Seed RR #3, Box 40, Carman, Manitoba R0G 0J0 204-745-6489

Heritage Harvest Seed is a seed company specializing in truly rare and endangered heirloom vegetable varieties. The vegetables are grown using organic methods and harvested by hand. The catalogue contains a wealth of information including detailed variety descriptions and histories. Free pack of seed with every order. Catalogue free.

Prairie Garden Seeds Box 2758, Humboldt, Saskatchewan S0K 2A0 306-386-2737

Organically grown open-pollinated seed for short season, dryland growing. Many heirloom varieties with historical backgrounds supplied. On-line catalog or Canadians only obtain printed catalog for $2 Canadian postage stamps.

Salt Spring Seeds Box 444 Ganges P.O., Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2W1 250-537-5269

Dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Organically grown open-pollinated seeds. Specializes in beans. A large and interesting variety of vegetables grains and garlic. Catalog $2 or on-line.

Sunshine Farm , Kelowna, BC

We sell certified organic seeds and specialize in rare, heirloom and unusual varieties of tomatoes, vegetables, herbs and some flowers. Catalogue has 24 pages, illustrations, descriptions and related plant information. Catalogue free I strive to help our local gardeners find solutions to their garden questions. E-mail to:

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