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fall/winter planting: get heirloom garden seeds

By Robyn Openshaw | Sep 23, 2008

If you garden, you should use nonhybridized, untreated, non-genetically modified seeds, known as “heirloom.”   Much of what you get at the local nursery has been chemically treated or mildly radiated to not produce offspring (so the seeds cannot be stored for more than one season).   Or their genetic components have been changed, so that we don’t know what deleterious effects that will have on our environment or our health.

I like www.heirloomseeds.com, not just because their seeds are untreated, unhybridized (many of the varieties dating back well over 100 years), and non-genetically modified, but also because they have a huge variety and good prices.   When I first read Eliot Coleman’s Four-Season Harvest, I got very excited about winter gardening.   I wanted to plant all the greens, like mache, that would grow even at zero degrees in my winter grow boxes.   But I couldn’t find mache anywhere, locally.   It, and every other variety of greens I read about in Coleman’s book, can be found at www.heirloomseeds.com.   For instance, New Zealand spinach, which isn’t really spinach, but similar, with a lot of vertical growing capacity up against my fence–and it doesn’t bolt in the heat.

If you’re going to plant this fall and/or winter, though, order now.   Heirloomseeds.com takes several weeks to fulfill orders.

For more information about how long you can store seeds, those of you who do food storage, this is a good source:

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garden/07221.html

Posted in: Books, Gardening, Robyn Recommends

3 thoughts on “fall/winter planting: get heirloom garden seeds”

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  1. My husband and I are moving into a new house in October and I want to get started on a garden right away. How do I know what I can plant? Of course, we are in Texas so we don’t have the freezing issue that much at all. Anyone know a good website that would help me out?

  2. http:// says:

    In Texas, I think you can plant whatever you want, whenever you want! A blogger on this site named Nancy might answer you on this, when she checks in, because she’s a gardener extraordinaire from Texas.

    I wanted to add that I think the warning on the heirloomseeds.com site that it takes them a month to fill orders “this time of year” is outdated. Maybe it’s still there from last spring? I just ordered and got my seeds in about three days!

    Robyn

  3. Hey, Robyn,

    Thanks for this blog entry. I was wondering that myself.

    I have another question. Maybe you could do a blog entry about what you buy at Costco. I’m currently a member of BJ’s and am considering whether or not I should renew. I just joined a co-op/buying club & am able to get many things from there, but there are a few things I can’t get from BJ’s. I’m wondering if Costco might have a better selection for those trying to eat more whole foods.

    I generally get rice, vats of extra-virgin olive oil, organic milk (but I’m dairy-free, so we only go through a gallon a month), eggs, and occasional other things at BJ’s (like canned pumpkin, when it’s on sale). I also buy some meat there (though I know you’re mostly meat-free).

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