Saving Heirlooms

Unlike the single-season hybrid seeds sold at most garden stores, open-pollinated seeds allow you to save seeds from the mature plants for the following spring’s harvest. Every farmer should want to save seeds from each successive harvest in order to replant stronger and better adapted seeds, and open pollinated seeds are the only answer. Dozens of companies, part of a blossoming heritage seed movement now specialize in heirloom and open-pollinated seeds. The following online catalogs provide both a variety of seeds and a bounty of information for the savvy self-educated urban-gardener.


NativeSeeds/Search provides access to a wide range of heirloom vegetable seeds including those introduced to the New World by the Spanish and those traditionally used by Native Americans in the Southwest.

Redwood City Seed Company, is involved in the restorative cultivatio of native wildflowers and a good source of heirloom pepper seeds as well as tips on proper pepper propagation.

Seeds of Change has a helpful website offering good descriptions and photos of every plant variety they sell. Suitable quantities for home gardeners and small farmers are available for a wide array of open-pollinated vegetable, herb, and flower seeds.

Territorial Seeds maintains a well organized website offering an excellent selection of short-season vegetables as well as a valuable section devoted just to growing instructions. 

“Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact
the principal thing to it is the seed. Herein lies the difference between those who create
and those who merely enjoy.” – Nietzsche