I mentioned in a post last week that this was the time to start ordering seeds for Spring planting. I tried a new company this year, looking to support local sustainable suppliers. The company I tried was the Sustainable Seed Company, and I am rather disappointed. Here are the things I noticed, and I will be comparing them with GourmetSeed.com, whose quality I am always pleased with.
Take a look at this first photo for comparison. Both are parsnip seeds, a vegetable we have recently fallen in love with. The package on the left was from Gourmet Seed, and the one on the right from Sustainable Seed. Observe the packaging. One is in a protective sealed mylar that will preserve the seeds for years without exposing them to gains or loss of moisture. The other is in printed paper, which has practically no protective qualities.
Now, the obvious difference is size! The packet from Gourmet Seed contains 25 grams of seeds and the other 2 grams. While this packet from Gourmet Seeds cost $6.95, it contains over EIGHT TIMES more seeds than the other. The other cost $2.75, (as of today’s blog it is on sale) and you can see that for the extra $3.00 the Gourmet Seed cost is the winner. Even if I don’t use all the seeds one year, I can still reseal it with the built-in zip seal and these will keep.
Which brings me to the next issue. I also ordered a pound of winter wheat seed from Sustainable Seeds, and look at the date!
These were packaged for 2013, which means they were grown the year before. Winter wheat is planted in the fall and harvested the following spring in July in the North or as early as May in the South. Since these are dated March, it means they were harvested the year before. These are two-year old seeds! Another of the seed packets I received from them is also stamped “packed for 2013.”
When ordering seeds, it is important to watch for companies that offer quality and back up that committment consistently.