March 18, 2012
Here in Connecticut this unusually warm winter has turned into an early spring. My thoughts have been wandering. Lately I find myself day- dreaming about warm sunny days, deck parties with friends, and swimming in cool Maine waters. At our house, Rick is the gardener AND the cook, so his spring dreams run a bit more towards the culinary side this time of year. This year he has been especially focused on trying out some new heirloom varieties. We have learned so much about the importance of preserving our food diversity over these last few years, and this year Rick wanted to really put his new found knowledge to the test. We found so many great on-line and print catalog sources for organic and heritage seeds and plants complete with instructions.
One of our best discoveries this year was purely accidental. Last weekend a Sunday drive led us to the most amazing place in Old Weathersfield, Connecticut that has been producing seeds for New England gardeners since 1811. Comstock, Ferre & Co. (www.comstockferre.com) offers 250 varieties of open pollinated non-GMO seeds. The floors were old wide plank with rows and rows of paper seed packets. I think there must have been 50 different varieties of tomato seed alone. We came home with enough seeds to keep us in vegetables for ten years!
In addition to Comstock Ferre & Co. , we have a surprising number of great resources are right here in New England including the High Mowing Seeds (www.highmowingseeds.com) located in Wolcott, Vermont and Fedco Seeds (www.fedcoseeds.com) of Waterville, Maine. Another Maine based seed company, Johnny’s Selected Seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com) has a large selection of heirloom and organic seeds available.
I am sure that I have missed many other worthy enterprises here in our region, so look around and see what might be available right in your community!
Check www.permacultureactivist.net/seeds/SeedResrcs.htm for an excellent list of heritage and open pollinated seed companies. In addition, the Seed Savers Exchange (www.seedsavers.org) in Iowa is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the preservation of our seed heritage. Happy planting!