Basic Principles

We prefer small companies whose proprietors take a hands-on, personal approach. So you won't find Burpee or Thompson & Morgan (or their subsidiaries) on the list.

Organic production counts for a lot, but even though not all these companies produce only organic seed, they are all aware of sustainable farming practices.

Most important is our personal experience—or recommendations from plantspeople we trust.

If you have comments —positive or negative —please share them with us; Email Jim at Peconic dot org.





















More about our Vendors

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Run by the Gettle family, a favorite of garden writers we know. Mansfield MO (Also Petaluma CA and Wethersfield CT.)

Botanical Interests

Curtis & Judy's boutique; another writers' favorite. Bloomfield CO.

Cross Country Nurseries

You'd think the best source of Chiles would be located in New Mexico, but Janie and Fernando set up their operation in New Jersey. They claim "the world's largest selection of Chiles and Sweet Peppers" and also offer Tomatoes and Eggplant.Transplants only; no seed. Cross Country is also a sustainability leader: while almost all other seed sources spend large amounts printing and mailing gorgeous catalogs, these folks offer only pdfs! Rosemont NJ.

Fedco Seeds

Founded in 1978 and located in Maine, Fedco is a coop dedicated to organic, untreated seed—especially varieties that do well in Northern climates. Lots of good info on their site, some unique varieties, trees and tubers, too.

Gourmet Seed

Run by the Harris and Winteregg families Gourmet Seed has recently absorbed several other small companies, including Italian Seed and Tool. Tatum NM.

Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds

One of the older quality seed companies, Scheepers has maintained the family touch. Barbara Damrosch consults. Bantam CT.

Johnny's Selected Seeds

Most of the hip nurseries we know swear by Johnny's. Wholesale quantities available. Encyclopedic variety. Employee-owned. Winslow ME.

Klehm's Song Sparrow Perennial Farm

Another very old family company and a garden writers' favorite. Perennials; no vegetables. Avalon WI.

Niche Gardens

Another writers' favorite. Plants only; no vegetables. Chapel Hill NC.

Pinetree Garden Seeds

Dick Meiners and Donna Childs have been at this for more than 30 years. Writers' favorite. Unsurpassed for price. New Gloucester ME.

Renee's Garden

Renee Shepherd has founded two interesting seed companies. (Shepherd Garden Seeds ceased operations after she left.) She focusses on careful selection and testing. Felton CA.

Seeds from Italy

Bill McKay's personal crusade to introduce US gardeners to the wonders of Italian seed—mainly provided by Franchi Sementi. If you've ever visited Italy during the harvest season you'll know why he's obsessed! If you visit no other website on this list do check out In 2011 Bill retired and sold the company to Dan Nagengast, a long-time market gardener, and Lynn Byczynski, publisher of Growing for Market, who have greatly enhanced the website. Lawrence KS (but really Bergamo, Italy).

Seeds of Change

"Founded in 1989 to make organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers, while preserving countless heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost." Spicer MN.

Seedsavers Exchange

A non-profit membership organization founded in 1975 to save and distribute heirloom seeds. If you have varieties to contribute you should join. Decorah IA.

Territorial Seed Company

Founded in 1979 to focus on seeds best suited for west of the Cascades. Tom and Julie Johns have been the proprietors since 1985. Just because you don't live on the west coast doesn't mean you can't order from them. Cottage Grove OR.

Toadshade Wildflower Farm

Good source for Northeast US Natives (seeds and plants)

White Flower Farm

When Mr Blandings built his dream house he probably shopped here for his landscaping. Perhaps the chicest source for flowers and ornamentals. Avon CT.