Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Where to Buy Seeds: A Gardening Fairy Tale {Giveaway Ended!}

If you haven't already, check out Part One: Where to Begin?!, Part Two: How to Determine Garden Size, and Part Three: A Crash Course in Garden Layouts.

Once upon a time, every gardener in the land received a small mountain of seed catalogs to dig through. Each gardener viewed the growing pile of colorful pages with a curious mix of delight and concern. After all, they reasoned, one person's garden could only hold so many plants. How could they ever narrow down all their choices so they could actually make an order? The future of the Pantry Kingdom depended on it!

The Lady Gardeners in question (the ones we'll be following today in our story) had a few thoughts that would help narrow down their search. They wanted seeds that they could save and replant; they preferred not to buy from a subsidiary of big dragons like Monsanto that had not yet been slayed by the knights of the realm; and they kind of liked the idea of supporting smaller businesses.

The Lady Gardeners knew that the chances that they would actually put in the effort to save their own seed were small, but they wanted it to be possible if they did ever get around to it. After all, some seeds, like cucumbers and tomatoes and squash, really aren't so hard to pick out and save. But alas, they knew that if they bought any hybrid seeds, they would not be able to do this, because the seeds would not produce the same crop as the parent seeds! They realized that their only choice was to shop from heirloom and heritage seed catalogs, which stocked seeds that were open pollinated and would produce the same crop from year to year.

As to their second desire, to avoid supporting one of the mightiest dragons of the realm, they were stumped. After all, so very many companies hide under names that don't sound like Monsanto, and yet way up the corporate ladder they actually were owned by the dragon!  Fortunately they found some websites (some of many) that helped them find the information they needed to fulfill their quest.

With all of this info in hand, the Lady Gardeners set out to make an order. One Lady decided she liked to use Annie's Heirloom Seeds, which was a small, family run heirloom seed company. They had fair prices, a growing list of available seeds, were good at responding to emails, and were committed to non-GMO crops, even signing the Safe Seed Pledge, as many noble companies before them had done.

The other Lady Gardener fell much in love with the Seed Savers Exchange catalog, which was full of heirloom riches to choose from. It had many, many choices, because it was a non-profit business that existed solely for the purpose of keeping as many heirloom seeds in circulation as possible, and many nobles throughout the land would send old family seeds to the SSE so that they might be cultivated and spread across the realm.

As it so happened, both of these companies were so supportive of the Lady Gardeners that they offered to donate some of their lovely seeds for a Giveaway! Annie's contributed a Beginner Gardener's seed collection for those uncertain of how to begin. Seed Saver's donated many varied and delightful options for more experienced gardeners to try! With magical names like "Dragon's Tongue beans" and "Eva Purple ball tomato" and "Moon and Stars watermelon", their contributions were truly perfect for the kingdom to give away.

The Lady Gardeners were delighted to host a giveaway, which they did forthwith. Even though spring was several months away, the promise of indoor seed starting gave them hope that they would make it through the long dreary days, and they knew that even if they weren't there yet, they would eventually live Happily Ever After.



As such, we will be hosting three giveaways today! The first one will be for the beginner's gardening mix, and the other two will be for a large mix of more adventurous options for the courageous to try.  :-)  These donations were super appreciated, and each giveaway logs in at a $10 or $40 value. (The eclectic mixes have more packets.) All the giveaways will be hosted on the same raffle widget, so here's how it goes:

There are five entries available, but only one is mandatory. Read through all the entry options and fill out the ones you prefer. There are actually more entries available than five, because the "Share A Post" entry option allows you to submit one entry for doing this each day of the giveaway. Totally your call if you want to capitalize on that or not. This giveaway runs for a week and will be done next Wednesday at midnight, so make sure to get your entries in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is hosted by the 104 Homestead, Unprocessed Fridays, Old Fashioned Friday, Farmgirl Friday, Home Sweet Home, Real Food FridaysHomeAcre Hop, Home & Garden Thursday, Green Thumb ThursdayReal Food Wednesday, Down Home Blog Hop, Wildcrafting WednesdayHomestead Barn Hop, Growing Homemakers, Tutorials & Tips, Tweak it Tuesday, Maple Hill Hop, Backyard Farming Connection, Tuesdays With a Twist, The Gathering SpotNatural Living Monday, and Amaze Me Monday blog hops. 


  1. Awesome giveaway! My parents grew the moon and stars watermelons last year, and they were amazing. Sweet, nice texture, and they kept longer than the other varieties as well.

  2. Nice giveaway! I keep a tattered copy of Territorial Seed Company (local for my region) for leisurely bathroom reading. Ha! I think I'd go with the beginners collection.

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  4. Can't wait to start my garden. I think the eclectic package sounds fun as I like to try new plants!

  5. I would love any of the seeds. i am always looking for new varieties of plants to grow.

  6. I haven't ordered from those companies. In fact, I don't even think I have any catalogs from them. That must be some sort of miracle, I think!

    1. And I would with one of the eclectic mixes.

  7. Gardening is very new to me, so I would be so grateful to win any of the seeds. Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Hey there! I think the eclectic package could be a great way to shake things up in my home garden! :)

  9. Wow what a great gift! We moved to a new house this year so I am anxious to plan my new garden!

  10. Its almost that time again! There is nothing more exciting than planting seeds and to see all the little seedlings come up day by day! Its just a different feeling than walking around the grocery store… just more personal satisfaction of eating the fruits/veggies of your labor… and to be honest… the hard work constantly trying to make sure you have gotten all the dirt removed from under your nails ;o) The eclectic mixes sound exciting! Another gardening adventure… Thanks for the fun and fruitful giveaway!

  11. Oh cool-I love seeds!! They hold such promise and if all goes as planned-miracles do form! The eclectic mixes sound wonderful-I've even been know to mix seeds together and just pop 'em in the ground and see what happens!

  12. Bravo for a wonderful tale (it had it all from suspense to humor).

    Share with me! Blog hops every Friday (entries accepted until Thursday @ noon)

  13. Tee hee - thanks for sharing at Green Thumb Thursday!

  14. Great post. i'm a fan of the seed savers - heirloom seeds are pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you'll join us again and share more of your awesome posts.