Sow True Seed – 2017 Seed Catalog Reviews

sow true seed 2017 catalog We love these folks more and more each year.  Every time I open their catalog, it makes me happy.  Their mission statement sort of covers why: “.. to preserve our shared botanical heritage and grow a new era of sustainable culture and ecological wisdom. We support independent, regional agricultural initiatives that foster vibrant, sustainable economy, and true food sovereignty.”

They carry only open pollinated varieties that ‘grow true from seed”, meaning when you save seed and plant it, you’ll get the same variety. Although they are not 100% organic, they support small farms who cannot afford organic or biodynamic certification. They provide seed from their network of skilled regional growers and independently-owned North American seed producers. That often means you are supportingsow-true-seed-custom-seed-packets small family farmers when you buy seed from Sow True Seed.

Want custom printed seed packets for your special event, business or fundraiser?  You can get them from Sow True.

Sow True Seed has an impressive, very well rounded section of seeds, red pimento pepperswhich can be hard to find from companies who don’t carry loads of varieties for each plant.  It is obvious they really take care in varietal selection.  This is a standout aspect of Sow True.  They could easily be your only seed company and you’ll have a great garden.

Some of our favorite selections include: Jericho lettuce, Ashe County, Red Ruffled and Tangerine pimento sweet peppers, Hearts of Gold Ronde de Nice summer round squash melon, Red Acre cabbage, Snowball self-blanching cauliflower, Ronde de Nice summer squash, Blue Hubbard winter squash, and Bush Pickle cucumber which is great for containers.  They also carry Tam Jalapeno, a variety we grew years ago to make salsa for those who can’t take much heat.

hearts of gold melon Sow True Seed also has a fun selection of Seed Collections for those just starting out or wanting some inspiration. Their catalog provides useful information on throughout, including companion planting information, making the catalog a valuable resource.

Please support these folks, as they are a wow of doing the future right. Plus how awesome is there name?

Southern Exposure 2014 Seed Catalog

Last year we started talking about seed companies and their catalogs.  This year we continue, starting with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE).

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange 2014 Cover
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange 2014 Cover

Beyond having a beautiful and whimsical cover, SESE specialized in varieties that grow well in mid-east and southern United States, AKA, hot humid summers. Historically, they have ties with Seed Saver’s Exchange, so they have a similar ethic of persevering heirloom varieties and encouraging people to save their own seed.

They have an outstanding variety and draw from small regional farms, some of whom are featured in their catalog.  They have taken the Safe Seed Pledge, and are one of the 73 plaintiffs continuing their lawsuit against Monsanto, in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.

Because they specialize in varieties for the south, you’ll find a larger selection of southern favorites including black-eyed peas (or cowpeas as they call them), okra, collards, peanuts and cotton (in various natural colors), than other catalogs. They have a pictorial designation for varieties well-suited to the southeast to help you find these quickly. They have many organic selections.

Here are 9  + varieties to try:

Rosella Purple Tomatos
Rosella Purple tomato gives you full sized slicer taste on a determinate plant that can be grown in containers – yummy
White Bush Scallop Summer Squash Harvest
We love Early White Bush Scallop summer squash. It is very productive all summer and seems to resist squash beetle attack longer than some other varieties.
Sweet Valentine Lettuce
A must have for the lettuce bed is Sweet Valentine. We used to get this years ago from another company and loved it, so we are happy SESE has it. Sweet Valentine is a great all season variety that does well in summer’s heat when shaded, and also in a hoop house from fall into the winter.
Neptune Red Tomato
Neptune & Old Virginia red tomatoes are noted to produce well in hot humid summers. Neptune is pictured.
Dakota Black Popcorn
SESE has an excellent section of popcorn. There is nothing like inviting friends over for a movie and serving home grown popcorn. We love Dakota Black (which pops white and is more like food than just a snack), but try more than one variety and compare.
Sierra Crisphead Lettuce
We have enjoyed two of their crisphead lettuces that are very different are from each other in look, but, both held up great in the fall garden, even with light frost. Try both Loma & Sierra. This is Sierra.
Loma Chrisphead Lettuce
Loma Chrisphead Lettuce
Sweet potatoes of various colors
Like sweet potatoes ? They have a good selection of orange, white and purple fleshed varieties. They carry Bunch Porto Rico for those with smaller gardens because of its shorter more compact vines.
Stone Mountain Watermelon
Southern selections would have to include watermelon, and they have white, yellow, orange and red fleshed varieties. If you have the space, try Stone Mountain for old fashioned 30 pound melons.
Ashe County Pimento Sweet Pepper
Ashe County Pimento sweet peppers are thick, juicy and delicious and can be grown in containers.