It is getting to the time of year to plan next year’s vegetable garden. We usually order from West Coast Seeds and have had good success. But I noticed that some of the vegetables that other people are planting are not available from that company. In particular, those great looking bronze or brown tomatoes and the Sweet Italian peppers. Hence, I was wondering where fellow gardeners obtain their seeds.
I use mostly West Coast seeds as well. I did buy two types of tomato seeds from Good Earth Farms in Merville. They were Chocolate Cherry and Merville Rocket. Both did very well and was nice to support the ultra local!
I mainly order seeds from either West Coast or Vesey’s, however I have also ordered from Johnny’s Seeds in the US. I find I can get seeds like pelleted lettuce and carrot seeds, which I can’t seem to find elsewhere.
I have purchased organic seeds from Sunshine Farms in Kelowna this year. They arrived quickly with very inexpensive shipping fees. A large and varied selection of tomato seeds that are very different from West Coast seeds offerings. This group supports community living, so an extra bonus.
West Coast is generally our first choice. However, Naramata Seeds has a lot of really interesting open pollinated heirloom varieties - tomatoes, squash, lettuces. We bought Black Oxheart and Berkeley Tie Dye tomato seeds from them this fall, as we didn’t want to face the stress of not being able to get them.
We also save seeds from some of our more exotic varieties, not meticulously, so it’s never a guarantee that we will get what we expect.
I like getting my seeds from the seedbank or seed savers here in the valley. I save quite a few of my own. It is a great way to grow what does well in our area.
I get seeds from Good Earth, Salt Spring seeds and friends regularly. I’ve also purchased from various other island producers, usually at Seedy Saturday!
Now it is rare for me to buy from catalogues, especially out of the province.
I got my planting garlic from the Merville Garlic festival in 2017 and some from the farmer’s market and well as some from Rasa Farms in the interior.
I don’t have either of the seeds Linda is looking for, but they sound interesting.
Such great information. Thank you everyone!
And, here’s a cheery little article entitled:
My self-help guide to resisting seed and plant catalogue order overload
Thank you for all of the great suggestions. Good to hear of the local seed providers. We’ll definitely check them out.
I remember seeing the images of the Black Oxheart and the Berkeley Tie Dye tomatoes this fall on the Forum. I have been craving them ever since.
Check your email. Happy new year!
The first place I look for seeds is my own seeds because these seeds are carefully selected from plants that have grown well and produced a tasty, disease free harvest. In so doing that have adapted to my micro climate over several years. Nothing anyone else has is going to be better than that. Second choice would be Comox Valley Seed Bank because these seeds are locally adapted and carefully selected. Seeds not needed for the seed bank may be available, see their website. Next would be local suppliers such as Good Earth Farms, Salt Spring Seeds and others that normally come to Seedy Saturday. These vendors are mostly growing on the island although some will also have seeds from growers throughout BC. CVGSS has a list of vendors.
For new varieties or seeds not otherwise available locally, I would try Baker Creek - US based with free shipping, or WCS or William Dam Seeds. In these latter cases choosing the right variety is critical since they sell to a large customer base with different growing conditions.
If you are still looking for sweet Italian red pepper seeds, let me know
I should mention that my very favourite seeds are those that I saved from a grape tomato plant that was initially purchased from Costco 2.5 years ago. I was lucky that it wasn’t a hybrid—the four plants that I grew last year were amazingly prolific and produced delicious grape tomatoes from the end of June to the end of September. Likely needless to say I saved more seeds!
Check out this site, given to me by a friend. BC Eco Seed