Anyone who thinks gardening begins in the spring and ends in the fall is missing the best part of the whole year; for gardening begins in January with the dream. - Josephine Nuese
It’s that time of year to start rummaging through your old seed packets and flipping through various seed catalogs to see what you want to grow this season. As you’re getting your garden plans together, we encourage you to buy from local and regional seed providers.
When your seeds are grown and saved from a local source, they become more adapted to that area's specific microclimate. Each season the plants are grown and seeds are saved in the same region improves how well that varity's future plants grow in those specific condidtions. Eventually, the plants can (nearly) deal with whatever weather the midwest feels like throwing at it!
Check out some of our suggested local and regional seed providers below, AND learn about where you can access some free seeds at the end of the article. Happy seed hunting!
Regional Seed Providers
Meadowlark Hearth Farms
Meadowlark Hearth is a whole farm ecological seed initiative. They carry a wide variety of vegetable seeds. All seeds are open-pollinated and certified organic. Fun fact: we source the annual Seed of The Year from Meadowlark Hearth every year!
Mullein Hill Farms
Mullein Hill Farm is located in the Loess Hills of Iowa. The farm is dedicated to preserving native prairie plants and weaving interconnectedness between humans and plant species. They specialize in native pollinator plants and medicinal herb seeds.
Buffalo Seed Company
The Buffalo Seed Company supplies growers in the Midwest with locally adapting horticulture and crop seeds to increase the resiliency and sustainability of our local food systems. They have lots of unique legumes, herbs, and flowers.
Seed Savers Exchange
A well-known nonprofit, Seed Bank that has been around since 1975. They grow, save, and share heirloom seeds. Their seed bank houses an impressive 20,000+ rare and open-pollinated varieties. They have their actual Seed Exchange online where growers can post their seed varieties and buy or trade seeds with people across the country, as well as a Facebook Groups for Seed Savers.
Prairie Moon Nursery
Native plants for gardening and restoration. Prairie Moon is the place to go if you want a large variety of native plants and grasses.
Regional Cover Crop Seed Providers
Green Cover Seed
Green Acres Cover Crop
Stock Seed Farms
Murdock, NE | Website
Welter Seed and Honey
National Seed Providers
No luck finding what you want within the local seed companies? Here’s our suggested list of national seed companies:
Clinton, ME | Website
Certified organic. Specializes in cold-hardy varieties. Great source for not only vegetable seeds but also potato slips, trees, bulbs, and fruits.
High Mowing Organic Seeds
Wolcott, Vermont | Website
Varieties of certified organic vegetable, herb, and flower seeds.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
Mineral, Virginia | Website
Certified organic, heirloom seeds, from small farms. Offers 800 varieties of vegetable, flower, herb, grain, and cover crop seeds. Specializes in Mid-Atlantic and Southeast varieties.
Kitazawa Seed Company
Oakland, CA | Website
Specializes in Asian vegetable varieties
Philadelphia, PA | Website
Rare, open-pollinated, and culturally important vegetable, herb, and flower seeds.
Annual Seed Share
City Sprouts is part of the process of developing a local seed bank here in Omaha, which has slowly been growing over the last couple of years. We hope that one day, this little project grows to have hundreds of varieties of seeds be saved right here in Omaha!
Meanwhile, you can find some locally grown and saved seeds at our Annual Seed Share. The event will be later than usual this year for safety reasons, but we hope you get a chance to find and exchange some seeds as well as grab a packet of the 2021 Seed of The Year while you’re there! Save the date:
7th Annual Seed Share
Presented by The Big Garden, City Sprouts, Big Muddy Urban Farm, & Omaha Public Library
Saturday, March 20th 12:00 - 4:00PM
OEDC Parking Lot
2221 North 24th Street.
Do you know of any other regional seed growers that we missed? Comment below!